Box Office Hits and Misses ! 2007


A Villager, Visionary, Winner - yes that sums up the movie pretty much. I don't want to spoil the movie by typing the entire script here, but briefly, it's the story of boy, Guru Kant Desai (Abhishek Bachchan) whose father never believed in him and against his wishes the boy goes to Turkey at a very young age to work as a delivery boy for cans of oil. The boy rises up as a sales manager at a big oil factory and decides he doesn't want to work for the "Gora Sahib" any more but do his own business. This boy who doesn't know how to speak English, creates the biggest company in India and in the process makes millions of people wealthy. This is the stuff, fantasies are made of and great fantasies make great movies and Guru is one such movie.

                   Namastey LONDON

Directed by Vipul Shah, Namastey London brings the east and west together once again through the total Punjabi munda played by Akshay Kumar and the Indian born, British brat played by Katrina Kaif. The girl's father (Rishi Kapoor) is quite upset with the way his daughter has become a slave to the western culture thus leaving her Indian roots far behind, and so he decides to get her married to a total desi lad. This is where Akki comes in and before the girl can actually offer her platter of protests, they both are bound in the wedlock.
The lasso however has a firangi already up her sleeve and wants to marry him after managing to come back to the foreign shores once again. But the desi boy is not willing to let go off his bride and his lawfully wedded wife so easily and thus tries to win her back. This is very much the story of this purab-pashchim milan, and the movie pulls off quite an okay performance overall.
Katrina and Akshay have worked together earlier as well in "Humko Deewana Kar Gaye" and have managed pretty decently in this film as well, opposite each other. Rishi Kapoor has given good work and so has Upen Patel. The movie also features Riteish Deshmukh for a special appearance.
The screenplay is neat and has been penned by Suresh Nair and presents an organized story. Vipul shah has already met with success with projects such as "Aankhen" and "Waqt" in the past and his directorial skills do not fail to shine even this time as he plunges into the genre of romance for the first time.
The music has been given by Himesh Reshammiya. "Chakna Chakna" and "Dilruba" are being played through the length and breadth of the nation. Even the song "Main Jahan Rahun" has a fresh feel to it and resounds in the mind, as the super talented Rahat Fateh Ali Khan lends his voice to this musical score. There is humor incorporated in the movie and scenes where the grooms are interviewed and the interaction between Bebe and Katrina is truly hilarious. The movie does not fail to arouse patriotic feelings at various junctures and also stressing upon the traditions and culture of the Indian society.
Overall a respectable pick but it just might fall back in the contest of popularity as another remarkably exceptional movie by Mira Nair "The Namesake" stands tall as a contender and is already topping charts and leads the race in drawing audiences to its theatres.
Our verdict: Namastey London is total paisa vasool…. No more, no less….!!!

               Shootout At Lokhandwala

Director Apoorva Lakhia, with his latest flick “Shootout at Lokhandwala”, tries to put on celluloid a real life incident of the Lokhandwala shootout of 1991. After “Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost” and “Ek Ajnabee”, Apoorva Lakhia takes a gritty and complex topic and somewhat excels in making a good movie out of it.

The movie goes deep into the lives of Dawood Ibrahim’s aides Maya Dolas, Dilip Buwa, his sidekick, and their three colleagues. On the other hand, it also shows how difficult it is for the cops to apprehend the dreaded criminals as they have to risk their own lives and have to limit themselves within the power given to them by the law. Director Apoorva Lakhia excels in telling the story from the perspective of gangsters as well as the cops. He has used a series of flashbacks.

                Life In A .... METRO

Numerous characters, their intermingled lives and fast times… that sets the tone of the Anurag Basu movie called “Life in a Metro”. With the pooled talent of a host of actors in this movie that talks about things such as love, commitment, adultery, dreams, hopes, ambitions and a mixture of various emotions, the movie still lacks the luster and the refinement to deal with such issues in a way that can be absolutely gripping and intense.
Though the movie roped in talents such as Kay Kay Menon, Shiney Ahuja and Konkona Sen who have been well received by the audiences earlier for their intense performances, yet here it only feels as if they have been squandered away. Shilpa Shetty and Kangana Ranaut merely prove to be eye candies. Also the band that keeps making its appearance again and again is annoying and irritating. Everything seems to be too hyped and as if being forced to be dramatic, full of pathos and tear jerking. Even the ending of the movie comes out real clichéd with people running after each other. With so many characters at hand and nothing really substantial to do with them, the director himself seems to have got tired and thus dispose them off in some way or the other.

Except for a few songs such as “In Dinon”, “Baatein Kuch Ankahee” and “Alvida”, there is nothing much praiseworthy to its music album either.

Not a very good show there Mr. Basu…. Better luck next time!!!!

           Eklavya - The Royal Guard

Dharma (Duty) is not what others decide for you, it is what your heart and mind guide you to do! Vidhu Vinod Chopra has based his Eklavya on this philosophy. Unlike Eklavya of Mahabharata, who had presented his right hand thumb as a Guru-Dakshina to Dronacharya, this modern-day Eklavya when faced with a similar situation, chooses the path of his heart rather than what the world expects of him.The beauty of Eklavya lies in its short length (under 2 hours), tight editing, amazing visuals and strong characters. Vidhu Vinod Chopra gets an A for wisely choosing his actors who do justice to the well-etched characters of the story. Screenplay by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijit Joshi is world class and there is not a single scene you would think as unnecessary. The movie wastes no time in going right to the heart of the story and keeps your attention throughout. It's like the director was crystal clear in his vision, which he executed to perfection.
Art direction by Nitin Desai is brilliant. He has successfully provided an imperial look to the palace and captured a very beautiful Rajasthan. S Natarajan Subramaniam's cinematography is plain awesome. Watch out for the scene where a drop of sweat falls from Amitabh's forehead on the rail track and vaporizes immediately by the heat. Superb! Some of the sequences are so spell-binding, you will take them with you even after the show is over. Most notably - the pigeon sequence in the beginning and the train-camel action sequence just before the intermission.  Tinu Verma shoots an awesome edge-of-the-seat dramatic action sequence involving a passing train and hundreds of camels. Background score by Shantanu Moitra adds major punch to the narrative. Dialogues by Swanand Kirkire might sound heavy at times for an average movie goer. To some movie goers the premise of the movie might seem archaic - a guard believing in his duty above everything else. However Chopra very articulately uses the definition of Dharma mentioned at the beginning to connect this "archaic premise" to modern school of thought. As an audience you get this revelation in the last few scenes of the movie. Had it stayed on course with this ancient doctrine, it would have been another run-of-the-mill movie. This is another one in the line of better movies coming out of Bollywood recently and deservingly gets my four stars.

                     Fool N Final

One fine day Ahmed Khan (choreographer turned director) watches Snatch and decides to remake it. Nothing wrong there. After all Snatch was quite hilarious and it's moral responsibility of our Bollywood film makers to make it available locally. So, Ahmed Khan ensembles a big star cast to make desi version of "stealing stones and breaking bones". So far so good. Sad part is that there is nothing positive about the movie beyond that. Screenplay and execution of Fool N Final take audience for granted and test its intelligence to the unendurable extent.  The end result is a complete downer. But, in the first place, did we ever expect anything better from the man who squandered a similar opportunity with multi-starrer Lakeer!
Usually Firoz Nadiadwala (producer) movies have good music but Himesh Reshammiya disappoints big time in Fool N Final. Bikes racing through the streets of Dubai, desert sequences and some stunts might have some takers but overall Ahmed Khan has failed miserably in his second attempt too. Highly unrecommended!

             Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd

Debutant director Reema Kagti has come up with a story of six different and difficult couples; each one of them hiding a secret behind their individualities and relationships and captures their moods on a trip from Mumbai to Goa which essentially is their honeymoon trip….

             GOOD BOY BAD BOY !!!

From the production house of Subhash Ghai (Mukta Arts) comes another dampening flick “Good Boy Bad Boy” starring Tusshar (still am baffled about the spelling) Kapoor, Emraan Hashmi, Tanushree Dutta, Isha Sharvani and Paresh Rawal. The movie is directed by Ashwini Chaudhary, who earlier made “Dhoop” and “Siskiyan”.
In terms of acting, Tusshar Kapoor gives yet another disappointing performance after “Kya Love Story Hai”. His expressionless straight face makes things really difficult for him. He has nothing new to provide in terms of acting. Serial Kisser Emraan Hashmi has carved a niche for himself in the “kissing” department but when it comes to acting, he is a complete misfit. Tanushree Dutta & Isha Sharvani weren’t required in the movie. They do everything to allure the audiences but fail miserably. The only saving grace is Paresh Rawal. His comic timing seems almost perfect.

Indian directors should realize that movie-making isn’t about star power or exhilaration but it’s all about creating something exemplary and laudable that has never been seen before.

                      Tara Rum Pum

Yash Raj Films is back yet again with “Ta Ra Rum Pum” but this time not with a bang but with a feeling of disappointment. Over the years, they have possessed a huge fan following for their nice locations, exquisite framing, music, etc but one department in which they are still lagging is the SCRIPT. The same problem arises with “Ta Ra Rum Pum”. Inspite of a good treatment, the movie fails to hold the audiences because of a fragile script.Some of the scenes like the entire family taking a bath at a public fountain and Saif driving recklessly through the city streets look quite unreal. And sometimes viewers could just make out as to what will happen next. Even the music is not extra ordinary.

Director Siddharth Anand targets his film at the family audiences and will satiate the appetite of people seeking family entertainment. But he still needs to learn a lot.. !!!