Posts Tagged ‘Arshad Warsi’

This weekend there are two releases. Shyam Benegal’s Well Done Abba and Kabir Kaushik’s Hum Tum Aur Ghost. At 76, Benegal is still in no mood to rest. Well Done Abba stars Boman Irani, Minissha Lamba and Samir Dattani and like many of Benegal’s films, its a social satire.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – The end result is that Well Done Abba is heart-felt and intermittently funny but not flat-out delightful like Benegal’s last film Welcome to Sajjanpur. You need oodles of patience to enjoy this one. I recommend that you wait for the DVD so you can speed up things yourself – 2.5/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Despite some genuinely comic portions in which Benegal exposes the extent of double dealing and bribery involved in Indian rural politics, the film as a whole is hard to enjoy because of its sluggish pace, and because of your inability to empathize with Armaan Ali – 2.5/5 

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – Benegal’s certainly locked in a lyrical, layered screenplay here. The subject’s grim. The optimism is unique. Armaan realises along the way the power of an election coming up, the RTI Act, the mike, and the media. The state legislature debates a stolen well. The film remains a fine black comedy, which could only disappoint in parts for its weakened pace, or the director’s discomfort with a soundtrack to help with the movie’s commerce – 3/5

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – But the downside of `Well Done Abba’ is that it is too lax, and, after a point, too stuffed. The pace picks up so slowly that you nearly tune out, and when post-interval, everything seems to be settling down nicely, Benegal starts throwing about long winded acronyms : spelling out the Right To Information Act can stop a movie dead – 2/5

Gaurav Malani (Indiatimes) – Despite being a trail and tribulation journey, Benegal’s direction has a feel-good charm to it. The simplicity in his storytelling is so charming that even when the film extends beyond its climax into a celebratory song, you don’t mind much. The authenticity of a rural setting is something that can never go wrong in a Shyam Benegal film – 3/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – It’s not the work of a helicoptering writer. It is the work of someone who has watched this life closely and carefully, so well done Ashok Mishra for the screenplay. It’s a place where there are ever more creative terms for bribes–from Diwali to Dussehra to peele Gandhiji. Where dowry is asked for three-door fridges and deewar-wala TV. Where police stations spend time registering thefts of hens, breaking the bakri’s leg, or stealing a door. Watch it and laugh. And wonder at what we have all come to. Pity about the songs though. We could have done without them – 3.5/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror)Well Done Abba is a sweet, whimsical political satire, quite a rare breed in Bollywood. Veteran director Shyam Benegal explores the familiar theme of corruption and inefficiency in small town India in his wry, deliberate manner, a refreshing change in these hypercharged days – 3/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – The film is a sheer delight, with the events unfolding in a breezy, comic vein which keeps the ribs relentlessly tickling. But what’s more alluring are the colourful characters and the multi-layered approach to the problems of a village which becomes a microcosm of the entire nation – 4/5

Kabir Kaushik made a brillant debut with Sehar. But nobody knows what happened to Chamku. And now its Hum Tum Aur Ghost, which looks similar to GhostTown. Arshad Warsi turns producer & writer with this one and stars alongwith Boman Irani & Dia Mirza. So, is it really Ghost Town or just another coincidence in B-town ?

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – At the end of Hum Tum aur Ghost, a character declares: kisi ne sahi kaha hai, love conquers all. Not quite. For one, love cannot conquer this muddled script, which veers between rom-com, drama and high emotion, in the most meandering way possible – 2/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Ultimately the film is predictable and tiring because it’s an interesting idea that’s been stretched way beyond its potential. The usually dependable Arshad Warsi delivers a few light moments, and Boman Irani as a friendly ghost helps muster up a couple of laughs. But director Kabeer Kaushik, who gave us the gripping cop drama Sehar, doesn’t seem to have the light-handed touch required to turn this flimsy concept into a fun-filled ride – 2/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – Body dies, soul remains, and we all seek ‘mukti’ (salvation), is a very Hindu belief. It appears a natural subject for a Hindi film. The lead actor, also the producer, credits himself for the film’s story. He could’ve acknowledged the little help from David Koepp and the makers of Ghost Town (2008). The protagonist there has his dead buddy, a ghost, follow him around for a purpose. Here he makes contact with an entire town full of ghosts – 1.5/5

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – The pow-wows between the ghosts and the sole human who can see them range from the funny and the lachrymose ( cue, close-up of Warsi, eyes brimming over), but the former are few and far. The interactions between the humans are equally contrived : Armaan’s girlfriend, the glamorous editor of a fashion magazine, is always dressed to the hilt ; his assistant exists solely to declare that she’s lesbian. Gosh. All of these are actors who can make a film thoroughly enjoyable . But `Hum Tum Aur Ghost’ is not that film – 1/5

Gaurav Malani (Indiatimes) – Arshad Warsi’s debut as a writer is so ‘lifeless’ in Hum Tum aur Ghost that even his ‘spirited’ performance isn’t able to save the dead slow film from dying a slow death – 2/5 

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – I couldn’t decide what was more grating. Dia’s mile wide smile? Warsi’s scruffy drunkenness? Irani’s desperate attempt to breathe life into a leaden script? Or Shernaz Patel’s faux seriousness as Warsi’s psychiatrist (by the way, why do Bollywood psychiatrists wear spectacles and speak in an accent like Shefali Shah in Karthik Calling Karthik?) And why has Bollywood suddenly discovered diseases? It doesn’t matter. The film is so boring that it threatens to put you to sleep. Hum Tum Aur Ghost is guaranteed to make you wish someone dead – 1/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) – Whenever the screenplay sags, which is quite often, Arshad starts clicking babes in bikinis or the lovebirds start singing a song, both of which merely titillate to deceive. Arshad tries his best but seems lost through the film, Dia is ditzy but decent, Boman is quite wasted while Sandhya stays spunky – 1.5/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – When it comes to performances, it’s the Arshad-Boman chemistry that crackles and invests the film with sparkle and wit. Dia Mirza too has her moments as the feisty girlfriend while Sandhya Mridul ends up mostly wasted as a sidekick. What’s even more disappointing is Shankar-Ehsan-Loy’s audio track which fails to throw up a single hummable tune – 2.5/5

Well Done Abba seems to be clear winner this week but the reviews are not as glowing as it was for Welcome To Sajjanpur.

Actor Arshad Warsi has turned producer with his new film Hum Tum Aur Ghost. The film was earlier titled Kaun Bola ? Its directed by Kabeer Kaushik, who made a superb debut with Sehar. But nobody knows how he lost the plot in his next film Chamku. Was it the Deols-who-dont-die in films ?

Hum Tum Aur Ghost stars Arshad Warsi, Dia Mirza, Sandhya Mridul and Boman Irani. Can anyone smell Ghost Town ? As always in bollywood, Arshad clarified that after he wrote the script hi freinds told him that it sounds like Ghost Town. Otherwise he had no clue.

Three hindi films this weekend. Its quite a film friday! Two debutants and one veteran! And since we belong to BBC (Bhardwaj Bhakt Club), we made sure that we saw it even before the release. Click here for our review.

Ishqiya is directed by debutant Abhishek Chaubey and stars Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan. Lets see how it has scored with the reviewers.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – I know its only January but I think its safe to say that Ishqiya is the most crackling film you’ll see this year. It’s feisty and sly and very, very sexy – 3.5/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, ISHQIYA is definitely worth a watch. The film has a riveting plot, great performances, soulful music, an absorbing story and skilful direction to make the viewer fall in ishq with it. It should appeal to the hardcore masses as also the multiplex junta – 4/5

Gaurav Malani (ET) – Regardless of the rugged-and-rustic ‘City of God’ kinda setting, the flavour of the film is predominantly light-hearted, as instinctive comedy oozes out from almost every sequence. The director’s hold on humour is remarkable as he makes good use of some dingy desi dialogues and some exceptional expressions by the lead male duo to hilarious outcome. The comic timing between Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi is absolutely flawless – 3.5/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Ishqiya, directed by debutant Abhishek Chaubey, is a delicious little film that teeters dangerously between saucy comedy and suspenseful noir. Unapologetically adult in its relationships, its language and its humor, the film sparkles for its inspired writing and uncompromised direction. It’s an assured, confident debut and one hell of a rollicking ride. A textured, compelling drama that’s unlike anything you’ve seen lately – 3.5/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – In Ishqiya lingo, the film is a sutli bomb (firecracker) that tickles and explodes. But for the hurried and harried end. Go, have a blast – 3.5/5 

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – Small-town India is where the real stories are. `Ishqiya’ blends place and people in a way only those who’ve lived that life know how, and gives us a film with desirous flesh and pulsating blood – 3/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – Mira Nair is right. Bharadwaj is probably one of the few of Bollywood’s unique voices likely to corner any genuine attention in the West. This road film is in parts, an Yi Tu Mama Tambien sort of bizarre romance, an El Mariachi type curry-western, and a City Of God kind of grimy thriller. Yet, the pungent odour is entirely original. Oh smell it – for sure – 3.5/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – Imagine a sticky sweet jalebi with a cup of hot milk. Just as they would have on a foggy morning in Gorakhpur. Crunchy, sweet, and quite delicious. Now think Ishqiya. Set in a reimagined eastern Uttar Pradesh, where minor hoodlums dress like cowboys and women are earthy sex queens, the film elevates rustic chic to an art – 4/5

Sukanya Varma (Rediff) – Rarely are grace and profanity cited in the same breath. Debutant filmmaker Abhishek Chaubey’s Ishqiya, however, is a privileged exception. If VB is the equivalent of Quentin Tarantino in Hindi cinema, safe to say with Chaubey, we have a Robert Rodriguez in the making – 3.5/5

Aniruddha Guha (DNA) – Ishqiya, among other things, is a great start for director Abhishek Chaubey. The film — with its great music, superior performances, and memorable dialogues — cannot be missed, unless you are under 18 years of age. This is pure ‘adult’ fun – 3.5/5

Jaya Biswas (Buzz18) – High on drama and wild at times, you are bound to fall in love with Khalujaan and Babban – 3.5/5

The average rating seems to be 3.5! Go for it.

The other release is Ram Gopal Varma’s Rann. We are tired of RIP-ing Ramu, again and again but seems he still isnt. Lets see if this one is his comeback. Rann stars Amitabh Bachchan, Paresh Rawal, Sudeep, Ritesh Deshmukh, Gul Panag and Neetu Chandra.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – Bachchan, Ritesh Deshmukh and Suchitra Krishnamoorthy, playing the mole, bring some restraint and dignity to this cacophonous tale. Otherwise it’s sound and fury signifying little – 2/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, RANN is truly a well-made film. No two opinions on that. The film should be patronised by viewers of serious, sensible cinema. Recommended! – 3.5/5 

Gaurav Malani (ET) – To be honest (like the film demands), Rann is not a new story but the news battle setting saves it from getting run-of-the-mill. Rather than a story designed around the media world, Rann is more of the clichéd corrupt politician chronicle (that Bollywood has been narrating since ages) set on the backdrop of the broadcasting business – 2.5/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Rann is not so much a bad film as it is a boring, predictable one. Varma and his writers borrow the Madhur Bhandarkar-blueprint and give us uni-dimensional characters who are either black or white, seldom grey. Although the film’s portrayal of a certain kind of Hindi news journalism may not be far from the truth, it is the film’s lazy stereotyping that is tiresome here. Varma uses crazy camera moves, tight close ups and a booming background score to create the drama that his simplistic script fails to – 2/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – It’s gritty. It’s grey. And it’s greatly topical too. Ram Gopal Varma returns to his let’s-dissect-the-real-world brand of cinema with the racy-pacy Rann that might run on predictable lines, nevertheless it makes for a gripping viewing with its behind-the-scenes dekko on the Breaking News, any which way, syndrome that seems to have overtaken certain sections of the media – 4/5

Khalid Mohamed (PFC) – All seen and said, the media ka kheema could have been infinitely superior. Gratifyingly, there are some redeeming moments which do leave you Zingin’ in the Rann. Thanks – 2.5/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – Ram Gopal Verma has been watching too much news. So much that he has made a movie on exactly the same principles that he trashes. Ensure your anchors/actors indulge in crazy histrionics, forget about the research and use hyperbole at all times. Watch it if you want a good laugh – 2/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – Exposes are cheap devices; explanations, precious. Most good art achieves the latter, great films do. This is neither an expose nor an explanation. It’s just an exercise in corniness, not very different from the subject of its scrutiny – 2/5

Sukanya Varma (Rediff) – There are a couple of moments in Rann involving a seemingly anonymous call to super tense Sudeep or Big B coming to terms with the humiliating truth about his son are reminiscent of vintage Varma, Then again, a messy climax, witless and uninspired writing and shoddy, detail-free narrative ensure these memories are washed out as soon as they are formed – 2/5

Aniruudha Guha (DNA) – Over the years, Varma has used, and abused, the same treatment in his films to such an extent that it has lost its novelty and fun factor now. Extreme close-ups, dark environs, a garish back ground score – Rann‘s soundtrack is awful, to say the least – we’ve seen it all in previous Varma films.  Rann just doesn’t work – 2/5

Shweta Parande (Buzz18) – Ram Gopal Varma brings us yet another gripping drama in the league of Sarkar and Sarkar Raj. The performances definitely make up for the flaws in the story. Also watch out for some good scenes and camera angles – 3.5/5

Ramu is still not back! The average rating seems to be 2/5! If you follow reviews every week, you know that Taran and Nikhat really dont count. Their operational cost is something different.

And the indie release of the week is Road To Sangam by debutant director by Amit Rai and stars Paresh Rawal, Om Puri and Pawan Malhotra.

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, ROAD TO SANGAM is mainly for connoisseurs of cinema and also for the festival circuit – 3/5 

Jaya Biswas (Buzz18) – No doubt the film got the best film award at MAMI and rave reviews at the International Film Fest of South Africa, Los Angeles Reel Film Fest and so on. And what better time to release the film when we are so close to commemorate Gandhiji’s death anniversary on Jan 30. It’s a journey worth exploring. Only if the packaging was good, the impact would have been more – 2.5/5

Abhishek Chaubey has been working with Vishal Bhardwaj since Makdee days. As a co-writer and also assisted him on almost all the films that Vishal has directed so far. When Vishal decided to produce Abhishek’s debut film, how can it go wrong! Chaubey graduates from Bhardwaj School Of Filmmaking with distinction.

Ishqiya stars three of my favourite actors. Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan. The film is completely “fun on the run”. And its the badlands of UP, with crime, love, lust, deceit, gang war and conspiracies making a delicious rustic mix. Taste it. Except few filmmakers, Bollywood rarely explores the rustic charm and the desi flavours in the era of multiplexes, suave urban heroes and NRI money!

It opens with the husky voice of Rekha Bhardwaj. Aha! Though it took me some time to adjust to her voice on Vidya Balan. And then enters the Mama-Bhanja, Kalujaan & Babban. Add Krishna (Vidya Balan) to the gang and its teen tigada kaam bigada! Love triangle was never so much fun! With Bhardwaj’s dictionary & dialogues, he can say the most mundane thing in an interesting way! Tumhara ishq ishq aur hamara ishq sex! This is Love Aaj Kal! Mr Imtiaz Ali, are you listening ?

The first half is almost flawless. Never a dull moment. Vishal Bhardwaj’s killer dialogues takes care of the writing. Arshad got the best lines and delivers one of his career’s best performance. Have always felt that he is underrated and underutilised except for Sehar & Munnabhai series. This one does justice to him. Naseeruddin Shah doesnt need lines. He says more with his silences and pauses. The look, the smile, the charm, its all so perfect. Just watch him in the song dil toh bachcha hai ji! And the de-glam Vidya is the “laundiya waisi nahi hai jaisi tum soch rahe ho! ” Surprise!

Abhishek Chaubey – what an assured debut! Not a single weak patch anywhere! In an industry where filmmakers like Sagar Bellary (Bheja Fry) andManish Acharya (Loins of Punjab Presents) are applauded endlessly for their debut efforts, both the films which I didnt like, am not sure where would I place Abhishek Chaubey then! Mr Chaubey, get ready for the offers!

The only locha seems to be the climax of the film, much like Kaminey. It gets convulted, too many twists and some far-fetchd connections. The seeds have been planted from the start of the film and it all comes together to form the end.  But when the time comes for the close, the expectations grow so much that it seems jarring in trying to be over smart. But again, when the journey is such a joyride, you dont mind compromising with the destination. If only there was a better way to deal with it, it would have hit five out of five! 

In Ishqiya, there is no great story. Its screenplay and dialogues all the way. As they say, its not about the story but all about the storytelling! And brillant acting by the ensemble. Cant say much or will spoil the fun.

Watch it to know why Vishal Bhardwaj is the best dialogue writer in the country. Nobody even comes close. My favourite remains the dialogue from The Blue Umbrella where Pankaj Kapoor explains why he needs the umbrella. Pahadi ke picche se sooraj ko ugte huye dekha hai kya ?  Watch it to know why Naseeruddin Shah is still the God of acting! And watch it to know why you might end up liking that irritating song dil me baji guitar!

And if you are a fan of Bollywood’s golden oldies, you will smile more than once. Go, book your tickets.

Now that I have written some really good words about the film, can I get this T-shirt, Mr Bhardwaj! Saw someone wearing it, could not resist from clicking. He happily posed for me.

PS1 – Dont miss the beginning. Vishal Bhardwaj production got a new kickass logo, unlike any other. Its live action!

PS2 – Why Boney Kapoor’s company logo BSK needs to match his size ? 

PS3 – If kisses & smooches are still signs of growing up, Arshad & Vidya go for a full throttle & quite long smooch by hindi film standards! Bring it on, guys! Its ADULT film! Welcome to small town S & M! 

Mr Vishal Bhardwaj, what have we done to you ? Why are you hell-bent on killing us slowly and softly ? If you dont believe us, check out the new song promo of Ishqiya….dil toh bachcha hai ji and the strategically placed “fatak” by Vidya Balan….thoda kaccha hai ji! Words by Gulzar and music by Vishal Bhardwaj. Can someone please tell us when the music is going to be out!

Ishqiya is directed by Abhishek Chaubey, produced by Vishal Bhardwaj and stars Naseeruddin Shah, Vidya Balan and Arshad Warsi.

UPDATE – And like us, those of you who are still drooling over it, there is more. Here is the making of the song…

Here comes the words of the year 2010! Phurrr…phurr…phur! If this year was Dhen Te Dan, then head back to Bhardwaj bhandaar again for next year’s. The first song promo of Ishqiya is out and its bit disappointing to see “haramzaadi” getting replaced by “sharifzadi” and “sex” is covered up through the phurrr sound! But we are waiting and how!

The film is directed by Abhishek Chaubey, produced by Vishal Bhardwaj and stars Naseeruddin Shah, Vidya Balan and Arshad Warsi! Check it out….ibn batuta….churrrr…phurrrr! Music by Vishal Bhardwaj. Words – Gulzar.

Abhishek Chaubey, writer & assistant of Vishal Bhardwaj, makes his directorial debut with Ishqiya. It stars Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan. Though the first trailer came out few months ago but the first poster is out now. Take a look. Wish they could have done something with the font. Looks damn bland and boring!

And if you havent seen the awesomest promo of the year, do check out the video as well. Packed with some of the best lines….tumhara ishq ishq aur hamara ishq sex!

BTW, does it gives an impression of desi Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid ? Hope we are proved wrong!