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Thought of starting with something big for my first bollywood film review and found Ra.One to be the most apt choice.After all,it was the return of the Badshah of Bollywood to the big screen  after a huge gap of  21 months.Ra.One is also the most expensive bollywood film made till date,so naturally i had gigantic expectations.So,did the film stood unto my expectations .Well, I would say about that a little later,let’s start with the film’s storyline first[ it does have one].

The film starts with a scientific press meeting in which Jenny [Shahana Goswami] introduces to the media her company ‘Barron Industries’ latest technology, which proposes to dissolve the boundaries between the virtual and the real world.Our Hero Sheekharr Subramaniam [Srk] also works in the same company and designs  video games for kids.Although these people working in this company are supposedly very intelligent and brainy , their actions seems to suggest otherwise.All they do is crack some lame jokes like’ calling their Chinese colleague JACKIE CHAN,at which he gets very angry and starts beating up people’ or Throwing keys into a woman cloth’s and then try to retrieve it from from her.’This last mentioned very funny act[At least Srk thought so]  is carried by our hero himself albeit unsuccesfully.[I do not think that you thought he would be successful] .In fact all the people working in the company ,except for jenny,behave more like nursery school students than working professionals.But i do not blame them,since the company’s head Mr.Barron [Dilip Tahil] takes the cake in the stupidity department in this company of idiots.[Imagine a boss of a big company saying that he would close his company down and then open  a South-indian restuarant in which all his former employees would serve as waiters and cooks and the cook to be appointed[our hero] replies that he would be able to cook all the dishes except for idlis as he doesn’t how to make them.]

Back at our hero’s home ,things are even more idiotic.His wife Sonia [Kareena Kapoor,very pretty but visibly overacting]  is doing a thesis on Galis .She has no choice of course as Madam Kareena has to carry her abusive Golmaal legacy forward. Otherwise why would people come to watch her.You can’t offer them much skin show( this a supposedly a film meant for kids),so give them a abuse show.This thesis is supposed to result in more women power (according to the film),but what it actually leads to are some more lame jokes.

Oh! how can i forget to introduce to you this stupid couple’s very stupid progeny.This progeny,a son named  Prateek(the couple named him very correctly as he is indeed a Prateek{symbol} of his stupid parents and this stupid film), is not only foolish(like everybody else in this film) but is also a thoroughly insensitive kid.This boy loves playing video games but loves the villains more than the heroes even though he himself always plays the hero [Lucifer] in the video games and loves kicking the ass of the gaming villain.[Sorry for the foul language used but this is the language used by this 9 yr old kiddo with a weirdo hairstyle in the film].

The loving dad now makes a video game in which the villain[RANDOM ACCESS VERSION ONE or RA.ONE] is more stronger than the hero[The Good One or G.One],to impress his son and also teach him that goodness is far bigger than the evil.The son impressed,starts playing the game at the video game’s launch party.With everybody else shaking their booty to the song ‘Criminal’,this boy defeats the gaming villain at level 1[this game has 3 levels at all] but then quits the game at level 2.Of course our Villain gets super angry and decides to come out of the game to take this boy out.He kills the Jackie chan Chinese guy,then takes his form and goes out to hunt this boy Lucifer down.The terrified dad ,on coming face to face with the villain,tells  Ra.one that he is lucifer.Ra.one quickly recognises that he is lying but still kills the poor dad needlessly[ probably Ra.one also recognised the need to infuse some typical filmi emotion in this film].

This  super strong villain has only one purpose in his life , that is to find and kill Lucifer aka Prateek.Realising that his life is in danger ,the boy along with aunt Jenny,activates G.one to come to life.G.one[SRK again] does so and saves the boy from Ra.one.He also kills off Ra.one [who surrenders very tamely,which is quite strange considering that Ra.One is more powerful than G.one] for the time being.

The mother,son and the superhero come to india.This period of the film is marked by some jokes on ‘How to save a damsel in distress without touching her’,’How to defeat the bad guys by attacking their main part’,How to make people laugh by making a 9 yr old say the words-Condom,condom? and’ Power Yoga and Gay’jokes.Meanwhile,our dead Villain comes to life through an electronic poster that has a shirtless-tattoed person [Arjun Rampal] gracing the poster,takes his form and again goes out to hunt the poor boy.[All without any rhyme and reason].

The villain too comes to india and Takes the form of Madam Kareena,who then seduces our Apparently emotion less robot hero in the ‘CHHAMAK CHALLO’ song and takes both the mother and the son with him.Now,with both the mother and son in RA.One’s hands ,the mom in a Unstoppable break free train,the son captured and tied by the villain at his dera.What can our hero G.ONE do?He has to save the damsel in distress and the dude in danger from the more powerful Ra.one.What will happen now?

Of course you know what will happen now.Our hero will not only save the mom& the son but also finally defeat the villain.[there is a thing about HART & ANTI-HART GUN in this film,which would help him do so].Just as you predicted,everything falls in place after some  really good action sequences[the only high point of this film].You feel nothing after the film is over but Our dear friends have  already prepared for a sequel to this shit and hit.GOD SAVE US.

The biggest problem with this film is its pathetic and tried & tested execution.Srk forget that any good superhero film has a villain,whose prime aim is to destroy and rule over the world and not go after any single person,whom the hero fights and defeats,even though he has nothing personal against the villain.One may argue that One cannot take risks with such costly project and only offer things which the audience are liking.This might hold true for the average joe guy in bollywood,but one expects more from The Badshah.It feels even more sadder coz Srk was everywhere proclaiming that this film is going to be a path-breaker of sorts.It’s indeed path-breaking for its action sequences  but is also a path-breaker on how to make a shoddy film with so much money and resources at one’s disposal.Srk has spent a lot of money on the stunts and it shows and it is a commendable effort,but only if  the director[Anubhav Sinha,although this may have been ghost-directed by Srk himself] and the screenwriters had spent a little more brain on this film,it could have been a lot better.Music and performances are okay to bad.Another thing that irks is the constant use of foul language and  some objectionable scenes in a flick that is primarily meant for kids and family audiences.

In short a one time watch and that too only for its action sequences,cast and Chhamak Challo song.

Major cast-1] Srk-Shekhar/G.one

2] Kareena Kapoor-Sonia Subramaniam

3] Arjun Rampal-Ra.one

4] Shahana Goswami-Jenny

5] Tom Wyu-Chinese Guy

6] Sathish Shah-G.one’s Tamil neighbour

7] Armaan Verma-Shekhar’s son Prateek/Lucifer

8] Dalip Tahil-Mr.Barron

Major crew-1] Anubhav Sinha-Director&Story

2]  Mushtaq Sheikh [screenplay],Kanika Dhillon [ screenplay  & dialogues],Niranjan Iyengar [screenplay & dialogues] & SRK [screenplay]

3] Vishal-Shekhar-Music

4] V.Manikanandan & Nicola Pecorini-Cinematography

5] Sanjay Sharma-Editing

6] Sabu Cyril & Nick Dent-Art Direction

7] Manish Malhotra & Anaita Shroff-Costume Design

Trivia-1] Srk and Anubhav Sinha decided to make this film for their respective children.

2] Foreign Technicians were brought for this film.Akon,the famous international singer has sung two songs for this film.

3] Jackie Chan was earlier considered for the role of the chinese guy Akashi,but he refused to do the film.

What’s hot-The action Sequences.

What’s not-Almost everything from direction to screenplay.

Rating-2.5/5

Verdict-One-time watch.

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My last review had the protagonist playing a journalist.This time also,the lead protagonist is a journalist,the only difference being is that this journalist is probably the world’s most famous Scribe,the one whom we all have adored and loved since our childhood.Yes, it is the Belgian boy Tintin.

Making a film on such an iconic character is always very challenging coz if things go wrong, brick bats are very harsh.It becomes more challenging for an acclaimed director like Spielberg coz criticism is even more harsher for the bigwigs.

But nothing to worry about as this film not only brings Tintin alive to screen in a truly rocking way but also is Spielberg’s return to top form.

Based on three Tintin stories- The Crab with the Golden Claws (1941), The Secret of the Unicorn (1943), and Red Rackham’s Treasure (1944,this one could have been confusing but is not so.Spielberg alongwith the screenwriters do a mighty great job of taking three stories and mixing them into a totally coherent & entertaining film.

The film begins with Tintin and his faithful dog  Snowy in a market place where Tintin is getting his portrait done by an artist.Snowy notices a pick-pocket in the market and goes after him but loses track of him.There in the market,Tintin discovers a beautiful model of an old three-masted sailing ship ‘UNICORN’.He buys it but then is persuaded by both Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine and a mysterious man by the name of Barnaby to give the ship model to them.Tintin rejects their proposal but is intrigued by the fact that why would these two persons be so interested in buying an old ship model that much.

At Tintin’s home,a fight ensues between Snowy and the neighbour’s cat in which the ship’s model gets broken.A parchment scroll slips out of the ship’s mast and rolls down under the furniture.Snowy tries to alert Tintin of the scroll but fails as Tintin goes out to research about the Unicorn.

On the other hand,ineffective detectives Thomson & Thompson try to catch the kleptomaniac thief Astride silk.Tintin meets Sakharine and comes to know that two more models of the ship exist.Back home,he finds his house burgled and  the ship model stolen.Luckily,he is able to retrieve the scroll which had been lying under the furniture.Mr.Barnaby comes to warn Tintin to stay from this mess but is shot dead.Meanwhile,the next day The kleptomaniac thief Astride silk steals away the scroll from Tintin’s pocket and Tintin Himself alongwith Snowy gets kidnapped by Sakharine’s men and is imprisoned on SS Karaboudjan.There he meets  the perennially drunk captain of the ship Haddock, who has no idea on what is going on his ship.In fact, the ship is now actually controlled by Allan,who is Haddock’s first mate and works for Sakharine.

Tintin,Snowy & Haddock manage to escape from the Karaboudjan.Then,Sakharine sents A seaplane to catch them but Tintin manages to capture the plane and fly towards Moroccan port Of Bagghar.But sadly their plane crashes and they land in a desert.Now,in the absence of alcohol,the normally drunk Haddock starts reminiscing about his ancestor Sir Francis Haddock.Now this Ancestor was the captain of the Unicorn ship in the 17th century,who after losing a fierce and vicious battle to RED Reckham[who wants to capture the ship’s treasure],manages to escape from Red Reckham’s prison on the ship.After his escape,Francis haddock sets the Unicorn on fire and lets the ship sink so that Red Reckham can’t get his dirty hands on the ship’s treasure.It now becomes clear that there are three scrolls,each hidden in three ship models which would give the  location of the Unicorn and it’s treasure.It is the same treasure that Sakharine,a descendant of Red Reckham,is going after with all his power.

The two detectives manage to retrieve the scroll from Astride silk and hands it over to Tintin who in turn hands it over to Captain Haddock,who promises to guard the Scroll with his life.With one scroll in Tintin’s hands and another scroll in Sakharine’s hands,we get to know that the third and the final ship model which contains the scroll is safely enclosed in a bullet proof display case,owned by Wealthy Omar Bin Salaad.So,Tintin is quite sure that the final scroll will not reach Sakharine’s dirty hands and goes to attend a concert by the famous MILANESE NIGHTINGALE-Bianca Castafiore.

But the evil Sakharine has other plans.He manages to get Captain Haddock drunk and take the first scroll away.The third scroll,safe in the bullet proof case gets broken down by the voice of the milanese nightingale [you know how some western women with their high-pitched and wooooooo hoooooooo singing can break people’s head and glasses] and Sakharine Gets his hawk to fly down and take the third scroll away.Tintin&Co try their best to stop Sakharine from going away and give him a mighty chase but Sakharine manages to walk away.Now with all three scrolls that are needed to indicate the location of the treasure and the ship with Sakharine,what would Tintin& co do?How can they stop the sinister Sakharine?For that you need to watch this rocking film.

This film is so well written and well directed that almost every scene is a treat to watch and brings joy to the soul.Every emotion and every expression is brilliantly brought to the screen.All the adventures that Tintin & party indulge in,be it the chase&escape sequences or the battle ones,all of them are thoroughly Entertaining and engrossing.The film has been shot with an inspired visual flair that is both dazzling and spell binding.

The film does have some minor flaws like some unnecessary humour and little confusion but nothing major to distract your attention and force you to go for a loo break.Instead it keeps you hooked from the beginning to the end.

In short, a truly enjoyable roller-coaster ride of fantastic entertainment that can be enjoyed both by the readers and no-readers of  Tintin.Hats off Spielberg for bringing not only the story but also bringing alive the true essence of Tintin to Screen.

Major cast-1] Jamie Bell-Tintin

2] Andy Serkis-Captain Haddock & Ancestor Haddock

3] Daniel Craig-Red Reckham & Sakharine

Major Crew-1] Steven Spielberg-Director

2] Steven Moffat,Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish-Screenplay

3] Herge-Story

4] John Williams-Music

5] Janusz Kaminski-Cinematography

6] Michael Kahn-Editing

7] Lesley Burkes-Harding-Costume Design

8] Andrew L.Jones & Jeff  Wisniewski-Art Direction

What’s HOT-Almost Everything.

What’s Not-Minor glitches like small confusing portions or unnecessary humour at small places.

Rating-4.5/5

Verdict-Not to be missed at any cost.

 

 

 

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So, Rum Diary Gets the distinction of being the first film that I am going to review on this blog.Why so? The answer is a simple one.Johnny Depp happens to be my favorite Hollywood actor of today.So when Rum Diary released in India a few months ago, i rushed to the theaters since it starred Johnny sir in the lead.My excitement was even more as this one has Johnny Depp not only as a lead actor but also in the role of the producer of this film.More so, this film was based on a novel by Hunter S. Thompson ,whom i like a lot.So, i went with a lot of expectations but alas, the film was not so good.

The film begins with the famous song “volare’ and the first shot is of an aircraft flying over the sea.Set in 1960’s , the film sees Johnny Depp as a journalist who has migrated to Puerto Rico from the US as he finds New York too noisy & mad and too conventional too.The newspaper that he now works for isn’t exactly flourishing.It’s Downtrodden editor  wants him to write about the Big people and their interests only as he feels that these people are his chief audience.Johnny boy on the other hand is more interested in writing about about the poor locals of Puerto Rico and wants to use his writing power against the American Capitalists who want to turn Poor Puerto Rico into a commercial haven.During his stay , he becomes Obsessed with  Chenault ,the girlfriend of an American Capitalist Sanderson.Depp also befriends his colleagues Sala and the perennially drunk Moburg,whom his editor boss just can’t stand.

Adapting the rum culture of the island,Depp whole life starts revolving around his obsession with Rum and With Chenault.Chenault’s boyfriend, the powerful Sanderson and his capitalist friends  engages Depp to write favorably about their new unsavory scheme in his newspaper , so that  public opinion can be turned in favour of their unscrupulous means.Johnny boy picks up the offer and is offered a lot of money.

But things go wrong on holiday trip to an island where  Sanderson wants to build a hotel.Chenault gets in mighty trouble due to her foolishness from which J0hnny boy is not able to save her.Sanderson breaks up with Chenault and withdraws his offer made to Depp.Realising that Depp might use his pen to uncover his fraudulent ways,Sanderson goes all out to close his newspaper down while depp goes all out with help of his two friends and  Chenault  to bring the true face of these American capitalists out in public.What happens then?You better watch out the film for that.

The film has got a good and thoughtful plot but the problem lies in the execution.Director Bruce Robinson,by no means a bad director,is somehow not able to give the film his best touch.The first half is quite boring and it seems that the filmmaker is losing interest in making the film himself.Thankfully,the last few scenes before the interval in which Depp and Rispoli are being chased around by angry natives is a very well written and directed scene which makes you return to the film after the interval.

Second half is definitely better with some well written and directed scenes which showcase the struggle that Depp’s character goes through to unmask Sanderson and his Colleagues.Performances wise and technically, the film is okay.But sadly when the film ends,you seem to have  missed something.This film has everything except Soul,spirit  & essence and is not able to do justice to the film’s storyline.It also suffers from Hollywood’s tendency to add those typical and boring Yankee scenes of abuse & sex.

In short, a one-time watch.

Major cast-1] Johnny Depp-Journalist Kemp

2] Aaron Eckhart- Capitalist Sanderson 

3] Michael Rispoli-Sala

4] Amber Heard-Chenault

5] Richard Jenkins-Editor Lotterman

6] Giovanni Ribisi-Moburg

Major Crew-1] Bruce Robinson-Director,Screenplay & Dialogues

2] Hunter S. Thompson-Novel[story]

3] Christopher Young-Original Music

4] Dariusz Wolski-Cinematography

5] Carol Littleton-Editing

6] Dawn Swiderski-Art Direction

7] Collen Atwood-Costume Design

What’s Hot-Good storyline & an unconventional ending.

What’s not-Shoddy screenplay,Average direction & lead heroine Amber Heard’s acting.

Rating-3/5

Verdict-One-time watch.

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Under The Scanner

Well, so far i have just been writing about Music.My first four posts were all about music.But what about Movies? The same movies without which i cannot live.So to write about movies, i am starting a new series ‘Under The Scanner’ in which i will review films Cutting across the boundaries of language,time and genre.

Every movie which i  would review here will  have the following characteristics-

1] The basic plotline of the film given mostly through pics backed by some writing.The new films that i would review though will not have many pictures in their review as it would not be possible to capture their pics as i do not believe in piracy.

2] Details of cast & crew.

3] A detailed and in-depth critical & commercial analysis.

4] What’s Hot & What’s not

5] Things to remember

6] Trivia & Info On the film

Hope to write well and looking forward to a great time.Well, that’s all for now as i have to prepare for the battle ahead.

Best of luck And Cheers.

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