Saturday, October 7, 2017

Tu Hai Mera Sunday (Movie Review)

Tu Hai Mera Sunday Reminds You to Fall in Love with Your Life Again!
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Director Milind Dhaimade’s ‘Tu Hai Mera Sunday’ is refreshing in all sense – be it the characters, story, script and the performances. The film gives you a reason to ponder on what you are doing with your life. The subtle questions that emerge while we watch are – Am I too caught up in the rat race of the corporate world? Do I fear to fight against the odds in my life? Do I really care for my dear ones? Do I love my life? The questions are endless…

There are too many characters but it doesn’t distract you because the characters are distinct and every life introduced here connects you back with your own life and people around you. ‘Tu Hai Mera Sunday’ is about to know what we have unknowingly lost in the hustle and bustle of a city life. The trees, rivers, mountains, beaches, a football or a cricket match or a lovely walk hand in hand with your dearest Sunday (Your Love).

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It’s the story of five friends from different walks of life in a busy city called Mumbai who are constantly in search of a playground/space to play football. Playing football is an excuse, actually, it is to relieve themselves from the stress that has stealthily crept into their life. Avinash Tiwari (as Rashid), Nakul Bhalla (as Mehernosh), Barun Sobti (As Arjun), Vishal Malhotra (As Dominic) and Jay Upadhyay (As Jayesh) are natural and gives a superlative performance. They appear to be so real that you feel you know them and see them every day in your colony. 

What is worth mentioning is about Avinash Tiwari’s character as Rashid and Barun Sobtis Arjun. Rashid leads a life which is an organized chaos and Arjun frets on the mere mention of a stressful ambitious corporate high profile job. Arjun prefers to be an independent consultant and Rashid still in his search of what he needs in life. Avinash Tiwari is one guy who is a promising actor. Hope to see him doing more challenging roles.
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The ladies here like Shahana Goswami (as Kavya), Rasika Duggal, Rama Joshi, and Maanvi Gagroo (as Vinita) are stupendous performances who add value to the story by their characters. These ladies represent the agony, fear, constraints and miseries which they are fighting with and they also prove that they are brave hearts to design their life by having the ability to choose what is right for them irrespective of what others think. All of them are inspiring.

Shivkumar Subrahmanium as Kavya’s senile old father portrays how simple it is to be happy in life if you forget everything that doesn’t hold value to you any more in life. Just be there ‘here and now’; you end up on the shore of blissfulness.  
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In short, ‘Tu Hai Mera Sunday’ is about belongingness, ownership towards one’s own life and valuing relationships. It has the right mix of emotions, humour and positivity towards life after all ‘Life Hai’ as one of the characters says positively looking at her deaf and dumb boys abandoned by her husband.  Do not miss this beautiful movie that teaches you to find your ‘Sunday’ and be there with your ‘Sunday’ always in good times and bad times.

.Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 3.5/5

Cast: Avinash Tiwary, Barun Sobti, Rasika duggal, Shahana Goswami, Shiv Subrahamanyum, Vishal Malhotra, Nakul Bhalla, Jay Upadhayay, Maanvi Gagroo,  Suhas Ahuja, Rama Joshi, Pallavi Batra, Meher Acharia Dar, Sandiip Sichand, Jia Vaidya

Genre: Comedy

Director: Milind Dhaimade

Producer: Varun Shah

Written by: Milind Dhaimade

Music and Background Score by: Amartya Rahul

Edited by: Shyam Salgaonkar

Cinematography: Harendra Singh

Production Company:  Runway Luminosity

Presented by: Love & Faith Films

Release Date: 6 October, 2017

Language: Hindi

Duration: 127 Minutes

Friday, October 6, 2017

Ramaleela (Malayalam Movie Review)

Ramaleela: Dileep’s Left, Right and Centre!
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“Do not reveal what you have thought upon doing, but by wise council keep it secret being determined to carry it into execution.” – Chanakya

Debutant director Arun Gopy’s film from beginning to the end is about Advocate Ramanunni’s brilliant plan and excellent execution to annihilate his enemies which is in tandem with the above mentioned Chanakya’s quote. Ramaleela is a political thriller written by Sachy and ably performed by Dileep. A restrained Dileep as Ramanunni is successful in giving a convincing performance sans his usual comic roles. Ramanunni’s determination and to avenge his father’s martyrdom keep the viewers puzzled, guessing on what will be his next move. Kalabhavan Shajon, as Thomas Chacko fondly called as TC, stands out as the Youth front leader and also as Ramanunni’s sidekick.

Ramaleela’s plot does portray the usual inter-political rivalry in Kerala and the inhuman political killings that have become the part of commoners’ life there. Ramanunni is the son of a communist martyr who is revered for his ethics and politics was killed due to an internal party conspiracy. This revelation from his father’s killer Ambady Mohan creates the required momentum in the movie.
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Changing sides during election time and becoming fence sitters are common in Indian politics. Ramanunni leaving his party at the time of a by-poll election and joining the rival party creates much anguish and anger among party cadres and moreover to his mother Raginni Raghavan (Radhika Sarathkumar) a staunch leftist supporter and party leader. She denounces him publicly for his betrayal by giving a public statement that he is a traitor who joined a party which was behind his father’s killing. Undeterred by the political onslaught by his parent party, he migrates to a new one to face an equally strong political competitor Udhayabhanu (Sidique) within his new fold, allegedly one of the conspirators of his father’s murder.

Pragya Martin (Helena) as an IT expert, reality show set designer and who is in constant search of breaking the rules in coming up with innovative ideas to make a difference in her field this time is hand in glove with the alleged accused, Advocate Ramannuni who is absconding for the killing of his political opponent. Pragya Martin and her father Renji Panicker as VG Madhavan, a veteran political journalist takes the plot to the next level by involving themselves in proving the innocence of Ramnnuni. A reality show streaming live from the hideout of Ramannuni and Thomas Chacko holds the whole Kerala on tenterhooks. Every episode is live telecast from a different IP address and which is difficult to trace becomes a headache for the intelligence and police force headed by Paulson Devassy DYSP (Mukesh). Mukesh as DYSP has done a good job with a tinge of humour, he portrays a not so stupid police officer.

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 Ramaleela is interesting because of its twists and turns. Unfortunately, the timing of Ramaleela’s release and the much controversial Dileeps alleged involvement in the recent Kerala Actress molestation and rape case has made this movie a talk of the town. The public has been divided into ‘for’ and ‘against’ Dileep. There are people who believe that it’s not just the hero’s film rather it’s about every artist who has contributed to making it to the theatre and therefore, it’s justified to watch the movie.

Anyways, what is important to remember is that an actor is recognized for his performance and is revered for his personal traits and integrity. Now, it is for the audience to decide what they want to do with Dileep the hero and a citizen of our country.

In short, Ramaleela is definitely watchable and is one of the best films Dileep has done. So go and watch Dileep, the actor.  

.Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 3.25/5

Cast: Dileep (Advocate Ramanunni), Kalabhavan Shajon (Thomas Chacko), Pragya Martin (Helena), Radhika Sarathkumar (Ragini Raghavan), Mukesh 9Paulson Devassy, DYSP), Siddique (Udhayabhanu), Vijayaraghavan (Ambady Mohan), Renji Panicker (VG Madhavan), Lena (Olga John), Ashokan 9Inspector General of Police),

Genre: Political Thriller

Director: Arun Gopy

Producers: Tomichan Mulakupaddam

Written by: Sachy

Music by: Gopi Sunder

Edited by: Vivek Harshan

Cinematography: Shaji Kumar

Production Company: Mulakupaddam Films

Distributed by: Mulakupaddam Release

Release Date: 28 September 2017

Language: Malayalam

Duration: 160 minutes

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Judwaa 2 (Movie Review)

Judwaa 2: Old Wine Well Preserved!
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Reviewer’s Thumb Mark

David Dhawan’s Judwaa 2 is successful in cloning his own characters but fails to deliver a new set of gags and humour. Varun Dhawan as Prem and Raja is fantastic and does give Salman Khan a competition but Salman Khan’s brand is so colossal that every act of Prem and Raja in Judwaa 2 reminds us about Salman Khan.

Varun Dhawan is good in his comic timing, dance moves and stunts; he has worked hard to evolve into a complete combo pack as a paisa vasool entertainment star. Moreover, these days, a shirtless Sallu Bhai has many competitors. Judwaa 2’s story is placed in the same template of the previous one – twins, with the same kind of reflexes, one timid and the other a tapori, one of them kidnapped and left to the mercy of streets and the other groomed in elite school and college. The street-smart Raja lands up in a foreign land with cooked up stories of having an ailing mother, sister, father and what not. Laughably, everyone in authority who come across them has a feeble heart and fall for his stories. And every time, Raja along with his sidekick has an easy escape.

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Jacqueline Fernandez (Aliska) and Taapsee Pannu (Samara) are two beautiful trophies the Judwaa have in their life. And these beautiful girls do what they are expected to do – giggle, sob, cuddle, kiss, dance and slip into bikinis at beautiful locales and act as dumbs just like their dumb and sometimes smart boyfriends. Jacqueline acts and looks the same in almost all the movies and does what she is best at flawlessly and Taapsee Pannu had tried to shed her ‘Pink’ and ‘Baby’ image by being bold and beautiful.

Upasna Singh, Anupam Kher, Rajpal Yadav, Vivan Bhatena and Pawan Malhotra are just there to remind you that please don’t look for logic. They try hard to tickle your funny bone and they do, but most of the time they fail.  

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Well, remind yourself that you are watching a David Dhawan film and therefore, discard your brain and Edward de Bono’s six thinking hats. Yes, there are some moments you tap your foot along with super energetic Varun Dhawan and may also wish to be on the dance floor. The old hit numbers ‘Oonchi Hi building and ‘Tan Tana Taan Tan Tan Tara’ transport you back to the 90’s.
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In short, Judwaa 2 also is not so interesting and funny like the original. It successfully ensures to be mediocre like its previous outing with Salman Khan. Everyone is loud here, leaving the audience to bear in silence all the stale antics. The last scenes where the original 90’s Judwaa walk in, the film plunges into the dullest scenes because of the lousy conversations between them and the current Judwaa. A tribute to Sallu is a dampener here. If you have no other options then go for Judwaa 2   at your own risk. A contemporary Judwaa, without carrying the baggage of the past in Varun Dhawan’s own style along with a new set of characters which are different from the mannerisms of the previous one, would have been more interesting to watch. Unfortunately, for some filmmakers ‘change’ is a taboo subject.

.Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 2/5

Cast: Varun Dhawan (Raja/Prem), Jacqueline Fernandex (Alishka), Taapsee Pannu (Samaira), Anupam Kher (Bakshi), Upasana Singh (Samaira’s Mother

Genre: Action Comedy

Director: David Dhawan

Producer: Sajid Nadiadwala

Written by: Sajid-Farhad (Dialogues)

Music by: Sajid-Wajid, Meet Bros, Sandeep Shirodkar, Anu Malik

Edited by: Ritesh Soni

Cinematography: Ayananka Bose

Production Company: Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment

Distributor: Fox Star Studios

Release Date: 29th September 2017

Language: Hindi

Duration: 150 Minutes

Friday, September 29, 2017

Newton (Movie Review)

Newton Pricks the Conscience of Indian Democracy!
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Masurkar graduates from his 2014’s ‘Sulemani Keeda’ to his second venture ‘Newton’ successfully. This time his lead protagonist has a keeda (weakness) for ‘honesty’ as a presiding officer at Naxalite-influenced region, Dandakaranya in Chattisgarh. The film’s initial part has a scene where we find Newton reading a ‘Handbook on Election Procedures’ and the light goes off. It is so true and satirical that in India, anyone who wants to understand any rulebook may experience a blackout. As per an old adage - ‘rules are made to be broken’ and when it comes to elections in India it is true to a great extent. As conveyed by the Poll Instructor in the film (Sanjay Mishra), though the Indian democracy allows criminals and goondas to fight and win elections, they as presiding officers and booth officers’ are expected to ensure that there should not be any unlawful activity while polling.

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The strength and beauty of the film are that it very subtly convey the hard truth of Indian democracy and the plight of the marginalised in the society, especially the Adivasis (tribals). The film is unbiased and raises pertinent questions. The film portrays the following : plight of our army men who work under danger without having advanced and basic security equipment and gadgets; the helplessness of the tribals who are caught in the crossfire of Naxalites and the police force; how the local administration and the governing authorities are left with no options but to overlook the problems of the region; the sham behind the so-called surrenders in the name of Naxalites; and the divide and rule policy of the ruling class in constituting the controversial ‘Salva Judum’ by recruiting locals and ex-Naxalites to fight against the Naxalites and other emerging struggles in the region.  It leaves ample room for the audience to ponder upon the dialogues of the film’s characters like Newton (Rajkummar Rao), the election officer Loknath (Raghubhir Yadav),  fellow officer Shambhu (Mukesh Prajapati), booth-level local officer Malko (Anjali Patil), and Aatma Singh, the Army officer in charge of the region. These characters in the film portray the various mindsets and perceptions that exist in our society.

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Aatma Singh is proud of his duty and feels that the gun he carries is the burden of the country and he does take care of it better than anyone else. He gives a damn to democratic procedures and also guffaws at the so-called procedures involved in it because he feels that the tribals are not educated and ignorant. On the contrary, Newton believes in educating and creating awareness among the people but his efforts are either shot down as civics classes or as not so practical. Malko as a local officer, a tribal herself understands the plight of her people and is trying hard not to succumb to the harsh realities of life. She in her conversations elicit the hope of change by saying – ‘It takes years for a jungle to emerge’ and a ‘Five makes a fist’ when Loknath displays his talent on a pack of cards in predicting the past, present and future of Newton.

Though, Newton ends abruptly causing a bit of confusion among the audience why the screen goes black suddenly; slowly walking out of the theatre the message sinks in that there is still no absolute answers to the issues and problems that have plagued our country for long. When we talk about bullet trains, online payments, aadhar card-linked accounts, and what not, we are still far behind in terms of providing basic amenities like water, electricity, shelter, food, education and security to men, women and children.

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All the actors in the movie are at par, especially RakKummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi and Anjali Patil need special mention for their superlative performances. It is also worth mentioning that Drishyam films have dared to dish out some relevant movies which are worth watching. Hope they continue to do so in the future too. Swapnil Sonawane’s cinematography, Shweta Venkat Mathew’s editing and Music by Naren and Benedict are awesome.

In short, don’t go to watch Newton for entertainment only, but go to get a reason to think and act like Newton and Malko. “Chal Tu Apna Kaam Kar” the song that goes while the credit lines roll, reminds us that no matter what happens, we still need to execute our responsibilities passionately as Indians.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 3.5 /5

Cast: Rajkummar Rao (Newton Kumar), Pankaj Tripathi (Aatma Singh), Anjali Patil (Malko), Raghubir Yadav (Loknath), Sanjay Mishra (Special Appearance), Mukesh Prajapati (Shambhu)

Genre: Comedy

Director: Amit V Masurkar

Producer: Manish Mundra

Written by: Amit V Masurkar

Screenplay: Amit V Masurkar, Mayank Tewari

Music by: Naren Chandvarkar, Benedict Taylor

Cinematography: Swapnil Sonawane

Edited by: Shweta Venkat Mathew

Production Company: Drishyam Films

Distributor: Eros International

Release Date: 22nd September, 2017

Language: Hindi

Duration: 106 Minutes

Lucknow Central (Movie Review)

Lucknow Central is a Damp Squib!
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Lucknow Central begins limping and slowly gains crescendo in the middle and then ends limping. It seems the filmmaker was unsure whether to tell the story of making a rock band or a prison-break thriller and the indecisiveness is evident throughout the film. The film falters to do justice to the plot by coming up with credible scenes. Farhan Akhtar as a Moradabad youngster who cherish to have his own band ends up in jail convicted for killing an IAS officer.

Farhan Akhtar as Kishan Girhotra delivers a mediocre performance in comparison to his acting prowess he displayed in Bhaag Mikha Bhaag and Rock On. Krishna’s father who is a librarian is an inspiration to watch because of his positivity he displays even at adversities. The calm composure of this well-read old-man maybe because of his in-depth knowledge of world literature.

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Kishan’s partners in crime are a bunch of criminals wh nurse the dream of being free one day because all of them have someone or something to go back to. Kishan, the master mind of the prison-break appears to be a seasoned criminal, whereas, he is not as per the plot and therefore, the scenes re less believable. The practice sessions of the band within the jail is shown as a plan to hoodwink the jail authorities. And throughout the practice sessions they all appear as dumb. What is interesting to note is the climax that turns out to be laughable because these bunch of criminals along with kishan perform on stage on the song ‘Kawaan Kawaan’ as thorough professionals.

It is quite obvious to compare ‘Lucknow Central’ with the recently released film ‘Qaidi Band’, though this one is far better than the latter. Diana Penty, as the leading lady is averagein performance and there is nothing much for her to perform too. Having said this, there are some scenes where we feel that there is something more in store for us but soon this feeling fizzles out. Inaaamulhaq, Deepak dobriyal, Rajesh Sharma, and the Punjabi Pop Star Gippy Grewal keep their best foot forward but unfortunately fails to make the movie interesting and thrilling. Ronit Roy, as the hard-nosed jailor seems to appear the same as he is found in many other movies.

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Debutant director Ranjit Tiwaro’s film ‘Lucknow Central’ is a redemption story of a bunh of criminals but falls short at the finishing line. The Bhopuri actor Ravi Kishen as the UP Chief Minister, adds some some humor to the otherwise dull movie.

In short, except for some scenes there is nothing to look forward in this film. Lucknow central is neither a prison-break thriller nor a rock Band’s story. You can skip this one for sure.

.Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 2.5 /5

Cast: Farhan Akhtar (Kishan ohan Girhotra), Diana Penty (Gayatri Kashyap), Gippy Grewal (Parminder Singh Trehan), Deepak dobriyal (Victor Chattopadhyay), Rajesh Sharma (Purushottam Madan Pundit), Innaamulhaq (Dikkat Ansari), Ronit Roy (Jailor), Ravi Kishen (Chief Minister Pawan Singh Chaturvedi)

Genre: Thriller

Director: Ranjit Tiwari

Producers: Nikhil Advani, Monisha Advani, Madhu G Bhojwani, Viacom 18 motion Pictures

Written by: Ranjit Tiwari, Aseem Arora

Music by: Arjunna Harjaie, Rochak Kohli, Tanishk Bagchi

Cinematography: Tushar Kanti Ray

Edited by: Charu Shree Roy

Production Company: Emmay Entertainment

Distributor: Viacom 18 Motion Pictures

Release Date: 15th September 2017

Language: Hindi

Duration: 147 Minutes

बर्फ सा दिल (Hindi Poem)