Secret Superstar – A Story of Dreams and Courage!

I had seen the trailers of Secret Superstar when I went to see the theatre to see another movie, since then I was eagerly waiting for the movie to release. The storyline just captured my heart and attention. I am a die-hard Aamir Khan fan. The other Khans refuse to grow and will still be running around trees even when they are 70. But this Khan never ceases to delight with every movie he does.

Coming back to the movie…. Insia is a 14 year old girl from Vadodara with a great talent for music but unable to realise her ambitions due to an oppressive and dominant father who considers daughters as a liability and sons as the treasures of the family. Insia’s father berates and insults his wife, even hitting her violently quite frequently. Insia has two dreams – to become a famous singer and to free her mother from the violent marriage. Whether she is able to fulfill these two dreams is what the movie is about.

There are so many things I loved about the movie. Meher Vij as the battered wife who wants to give her kids the best of everything steals the limelight in the movie. Zaira Wasim as Insia is a delight to watch. Her acting and emotions are expressed so well. However, for me the surprise package in the movie is Chintan Parekh played by Tirth Sharma. Chintan is Insia’s school friend who secretly as a crush on her. He is very very cute and a very natural and gifted actor. Their friendship slowly develops into a sweet love story as he always stands by her, supports her and encourages her dreams. The sweetest scene between them is the password scene in the movie.


Aamir Khan as Shakti Kumaar, a talented music director who gives into the popular crass music demands of producers is exceptional as always. But all through the movie, he doesn’t try to steal the limelight from Zaira Wasim and it is very clear that she is the main protagonist in the movie.

This movie is a must must watch for everyone.

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Tubelight – An honest Review

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I went to see Tubelight very reluctantly. I was not keen on seeing it and mom was. Despite the frame of mind I was in, the movie was just about okay.

There are two themes of the movie, both good ones – one is believing in something with all your heart and it will happen and the second is that you don’t need to be a born an Indian to be an Indian from heart.

The performances by Sohail Khan, the small boy Matin Rey Tangu and Zhu Zhu are the highlights of the film. They do full justice to the role. Another person who is silently a strong character in the movie is Maya(Isha Talwar). Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub is an excellent actor who is a complete natural and gives power packed yet subtle performances. His expressions convey everything. I see him as the next Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

Though the theme of the movie is good, it is supported by a very weak storyline and too much importance being given to Salman Khan and everyone else being sidelined. In Bajrangi Bhaijaan, every character including Salman Khan had their important spot in the movie. I can’t say the same for Tubelight. It would still be alright if he had acted well in the movie. But he is completely not suited for the role he has performed in the movie, hence looks very unconvincing which makes the movie dull and uninteresting.

Zhu Zhu, who plays the role of the Chinese Woman, is simply awesome in the movie and is very talented. She is the saving grace of the movie. Even Sohail Khan has given a very good and restrained performance. The movie would have been a good one if the role played by Salman Khan had been done by someone else.

Overall, I would give the movie one and a half stars.

A Late Review of Befikre

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I had missed watching Befikre in the movie hall and I had been very keen to watch it. I missed it when it came on T.V. Recently, I subscribed to Amazon Prime Video. It is amazing with a good movie collection, excellent quality and very convenient.

I found Befikre in the movie collection and settled down to watch it on Gudi Padwa since it was a holiday. The movie is set completely in Paris, it is my most loved city amongst all I have visited. I have a forever romance with Paris. The movie explores love and relationships as they are today. The confusion, desire to experience love with more than one person before settling down with that one person who one feels is perfect for them.

Vaani Kapoor and Ranveer Singh are both refreshing and very talented. They are fun, carefree and the movie is quite nice and I enjoyed it until we came to the end. Let me start with the synopsis first.

Shyra is an Indian but she has grown up as a French girl in Paris. The movie starts with a big fight and a breakup with Dharam(Ranveer Singh). After the breakup, Shyra grows up from someone who jumps from one relationship to other to a sensible and grounded woman who acquires a more mature outlook towards life while Dharam still stays the same. After their breakup, they don’t really stay in touch until one day Dharam calls her when he is in trouble with police. She bails him out and on the way home, they start talking to each other. Dharam apologizes to her for the things he says. They start becoming friends again and the story continues.

One day, her friend sets up a date for Shyra with an Investment banker.  Shyra is grumbling to Dharam about he will be a boring person and she wants to cancel the date. Dharam is going towards her house, speaking to her on the phone not realising that the same Investment banker is walking along with him towards her house. He hears the conversation about himself and introduces himself at Shyra’s door as the boring Investment banker. Dharam ends up accompanying them on the date. They go to a Karaoke bar and have a wonderful time. This was a refreshing change for me as the banker isn’t shown as the serious boring type, rather someone who is mature and responsible yet someone who lives life to the fullest and enjoys it too.

Shyra and Aney(the Investment banker) continue their relationship and are really happy together. Eventually, Aney asks her to marry him. She goes to Dharam and asks him for advice(as they are really close friends now). She asks him if he thinks she is the right person to get married too since their relationship doesn’t work out. He tells her that she is perfect and there is no way that she is responsible for the relationship not working out. She says Yes to Aney.

Now this is where my problem starts with the movie. In our youth and immaturity, we always get into relationships with the wrong people and come out of them as sensible people who have grown up, realised their good and bad points and what they want in the person whom they spend their life with. According to me, Dharam was the mistake of Shyra’s life and Aney was the guy who was absolutely right for her. But Dharam and Shyra start realising they still love each other while the wedding preparations are going on. This would still have been ok if we realised that Dharam had grown up and become more mature and responsible like Shyra had. But he was still the same which she knows too. When he tells her that he wants to change things, she tells him to act like  grownup man and rectify things, not like a typical immature man.

Yet at the end of the movie, they show Dharam coming to the altar and telling Aney how Shyra is a woman with a bad character, a slut who has slept with many men so that Aney will leave her and Shyra will be his. Shyra walks up to him and tells him – I told you to handle things like a grownup and not indulge in cheap tactics. He tells her that he loves her and she decides to marry Dharam, which is quite stupid. To justify that the turn the movie had taken now was the right one, they show Aney completely losing his cool and acting like a wild mad man losing his temper and getting violent towards Dharam. So they show a calm, sensible and mature man in a bad light to justify the cad getting the girl. This is my problem with the movie.

It is time our movies stopped justifying MCPs just because they are in love with the girl and were the girl’s first love, because that is what Dharam is – MCP.

 

Beauty and the Beast

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I am a big Emma Watson fan and from the time the movie was announced with the first trailer, I was finding it difficult to wait for the movie to release. The first trailer itself looked so dreamy and perfect! When the movie released, I went with a close friend to see it. I sincerely think that the right company for such movies is very important, someone who will understand the varied emotions you experience while watching a movie like this.

I won’t be elaborating on the story of the movie since most of us are aware of the story of Beauty and the Beast. The movie is so beautifully shot, the scenes are spectacular, the music touching and sweet. The movie must be seen only in 3D to fully enjoy the beautiful visuals.

Emma Watson is truly the perfect choice for the role of Belle. She is beautiful, witty, sharp and simply spectacular. Dan Stevens as Beast does full justice to the role. The other person who stole the show for me was Josh Gad who plays the role of LeFou. He is a terrific actor with amazing comic timing. The movie should definitely not be missed.

The other thing that really impressed me was that one of Belle’s gowns is designed and embroidered in India. Take a look.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/24/asia/beauty-and-the-beast-india/

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil – Simple Life made Mushkil!

I am a big movie buff and a movie I was really looking forward to was Ae Dil Hai Mushkil! The amazing starcast itself had me drooling. Aishwarya Rai, Shahrukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Ranbir Kapoor, Fawad Khan – I couldn’t wait for it to release. Eventually, the movie released and I went to see it.

The movie starts off well with the awesome bonding between Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma. You are in splits of laughter at their antics and the carefree way they live. Their bond is sweet and endearing. Ranbir falls in love with her but she is badly scarred in love(understandably). She has this one man whom she trusts completely, is her best friend and family but she doesn’t love him like a lover. He is her best friend, that’s all.

After this, the movie just goes downhill. There is no story. Just a bunch of characters roaming about aimlessly in the movie, getting back together, then separating, moving in and out of relationships. Ayan(Ranbir Kapoor) acts like a 3 year old who is denied his favourite object. He whines, throws tantrums and forgets Alizeh(Anushka) is a human being who can have her own likes and dislikes. He ignores all the love she has for him as a friend and wants her to love him as a lover, no matter how. A typical spoilt and overindulged man who doesn’t understand the meaning of consent.

The movie gets so tragic and depressing in the second half that Karan Johar should have handed out free psychiatric treatments for all those who were watching the movie. They could use it immediately after leaving the hall, I know I could. And the worst part is the tragedy is aimless, just to drive people crazy – a plot-less movie with tragedy up to your nose without a reason.

Aishwarya Rai and Anushka Sharma shine in their performances and are the saving grace of the movie. Fawad Khan is simply wasted in the movie. Blink and miss – Shahrukh Khan. For Ranbir Kapoor – I have no opinion. It is simply a repeat of the Rockstar performance. Ranbir Kapoor should just take a hiatus, realise the crap he is acting in nowadays and figure out where he wants to go.

Half Ticket – A Journey of Life and Coming of Age!

In the clutter of movies releasing one after the other and overlapping each other, it gets very difficult to follow which movies are releasing and when. The TV Channels will normally only show you the trailers of the movies of the very popular stars. Because of this, I have missed out a lot of movies that I would have loved. So I have taken to browsing through all the movies releasing on Friday to see what catches my interest.

One such movie that grabbed my attention and tugged at me somehow is Half Ticket. It is a Marathi film about two slum kids who forage for coal to earn a living and their ultimate ambition in life is to taste a pizza. They have a loving mother and a grandmother who dotes on them. But the kids have loftier ambitions and want a taste of the good things in life.

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The movie is a beautiful journey of coming to an understanding of the things in life that truly matter. As people have rightly said after watching the movie, you will see a Mumbai that has rarely been seen earlier. Each and every character will have an impact on you.

My favourite character in the movie is a Tutti-Frutti, a railway employee who develops a soft corner for the kids, never ridicules them and wants to help them achieve their lofty ambitions and teaches them many important life lessons. For myself, the highlight of the movie is the scene where the three of them are looking out at Bandra Worli Sea Link and Tutti Frutti talks to them about how they will be judged for their appearance and not for who they are as a person.

The movie has many sweet and funny moments – like the kids trying to sell a street dog to a taxi driver for Rs. 25000, two friends trying to outwit each other and ending up losing the money they were going to easily get. The movie has many touching moments too.

I highly recommend this movie, it is definitely a must watch!

Kapoor & Sons

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Kapoor & Sons was one movie that I was really looking forward to. Even the people who totally disliked Hindi movies from my friends circle were raving about it. So I was really keen to see the movie. I didn’t find the movie so great when I went to see it.

It is the story of a typical middle class family with fights, love, tears, misunderstandings and family bonding. A husband and wife who have grown apart as the wife suspects him of having an affair, two sons who were very close to each other and while they still have a strong bond, they are strangely estranged. One is struggling to achieve success while the other is a successful author. The entire family reunites in their hometown Coonoor to fulfill the last wishes of Dadu of clicking a family photograph titled ‘Kapoor & Sons’. Both the brothers become friends with Tia a lively and cheerful girl with a sad past. How Daadu’s last wish is fulfilled, how the brothers’ clear their misunderstandings and how a family resolves their issues to click that perfect photograph is what the story is about.

There are some high points in the movie with sweet and touching moments. All the actors have enacted their roles very well. It was nice watching all the talented actors like Rajat Kapoor. Reena Pathak, Siddharth Malhotra, Fawad Khan, Rishi Kapoor and Alia Bhatt.

Apart from that, the movie was just okay. I felt like I was watching a Nicholas Sparks novel in which tragedy is normally forced in without any reason.

Bajirao Mastani – A Total Dud

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I know a lot of people will disagree with me here and I have complete respect for your opinion but I totally hated the movie. Let me tell you why.

Grand sets, a promising start, the best director, the best actors and a strong character on whom the story was based – yet the movie disappointed me.

Bajirao was a great warrior who led many successful military campaigns and extended the Maratha rule over a large part of India. He was an able leader and a tactical and intelligent warrior.

The movie started off well with Bajirao’s character being established with the above mentioned qualities. However, in the second part of the first half itself(before the interval), the movie’s focus turned only to the love story of Bajirao Mastani which is shown in the most dull, vague and uninspiring manner. By this time, I was already regretting coming for the movie.

I had expected a historical movie of which the love story would be a part. I didn’t expect the love story to be forgotten and only the military leader in Bajirao to be spoken about. But neither did I expect only the love story to be highlighted and everything else to be forgotten.

Now, let’s come to the second half after the interval. You’ll forget that you are watching Bajirao Mastani and think you have accidentally come to see Devdas with different faces. Kashibai(Bajirao’s first wife) and Mastani are suddenly shown dancing with each other. There was no interaction between them before or after this song sequence – the Devdas hangover. In the end, Bajirao dies pining for his love and his love dies pining for him. So, a brilliant warrior becomes a loser who gives up everything for love.

I was completely disappointed in the movie. This is not Bajirao’s story. Now, compare this to another historical movie – Jodha Akbar. The love story is beautifully interwoven with the historical saga. I wish Sanjay Leela Bhansali had taken some pointers on how a historical movie is made.

 

 

Robin Williams – An Actor par Excellence!

His death anniversary was yesterday and it’s already been one year since he died. I am still coming to terms with the fact that I won’t see any more Robin Williams movies. I don’t think I will ever come to terms with  his death. To me, he was the ultimate actor. No one can take his place. I absolutely loved him as an actor.

The reason for his death came as an even bigger shock to me. The actor who made everyone laugh committed suicide because of depression. It broke my heart.

I have seen many of his movies, but three movies of his are my special favourites.

  1. Patch Adams

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This movie is based on a true story. A suicidal man commits himself to a mental institution. Once there, he finds that using humor to help his fellow patients gives him a reason to live too. As a result, he enrols as a medical student at a medical college and clashes with the dean of the college who believes that doctors must not bond with patients and keep a professional distance. I simply love the movie. Munnabhai MBBS is inspired from this movie.

2. Mrs. Doubtfire

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A man loses custody of his children after getting divorced from his wife. When he finds out that his wife is looking for a housekeeper, he distinguishes himself as a Scottish nanny, impresses his wife with his qualifications and gets the job. The movie has you rolling with laughter and has its touching moments.

3. Dead Poets Society

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This movie is my most favourite amongst all his movies. It captured my imagination, encourages and motivates me and is simply awesome. A new English teacher at Welton Academy, John Keating, surprises the new students of the academy with his unorthodox methods of teaching. He encourages his students to make their lives extraordinary, a sentiment he explains with the Latin words – Carpe Diem(Seize the Day).

Upon learning that Keating was a member of the unsanctioned group the Dead Poets’ Society while he was at Welton, one of the students , Neil restarts the club and he and his friends sneak off campus at night to a cave where they read poetry and verse, including their own compositions.

This movie is very inspirational and a must watch for all those who have not seen it.

Hollywood and all movie buffs have lost a treasure with the death of Robin Williams.

 

Badlapur – Don’t Miss The Beginning

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I just needed to go out with friends after a long day of work. My friends were going for a movie and I went along with them. The movie we were seeing was Badlapur.

The movie promos said Don’t Miss the Beginning. And it’s right. If you miss the beginning, don’t watch the movie, because the movie’s first scene is the most important of the scene.

The movie is hard-hitting from the first scene to the last scene. It is a story of what extents can someone go to in order to take revenge. It is a story of impulsive mistakes, cold blooded murders. Varun Dhawan is absolutely esceptional in the movie. His pain, anger and intensity will sear your heart through and through.

Each character in the movie comes with a moral to the story. It is the first movie where I have seen the criminal who destroys the victim’s life giving the victim a new lease of life at the end of the movie.

I won’t give you a synopsis of the movie because the movie must be seen and even the smallest hint of the story will be a spoiler. Hence, this is the shortest movie ever.

Please do go and watch the movie, you will come out raving about it.