Posts Tagged ‘film reviews’

<It’s better that you go see it first and then come back and read it.>

Hospitals are usually extremely humbling places. I have been to some, quite a few times and every single time I have felt the fragility of life from up close. Hotels, on the other hand, are the exact opposite. Specially 5 star ones. October expertly navigates these two spaces. One filled with arrogance, opulence, mirth and joy and the other full of weirdly calming sounds of ventilators, ECGs and the constant humming of the ceiling tube-lights.

During the 1st year of our Engineering college annual fest, two of the hostel-mates went drunk-biking and drove into a divider. The luckier one survived with a fractured arm, while the other, who was riding pillion, a good looking 6 feet+ Delhi boy ended up with a cracked skull in a hospital. All of us went to see him. He lay on the bed unconscious, his head wrapped in white, blood splotched cotton bandages and his face bruised tender on one side. He was critical. He had to drop out because he wasn’t the same guy after surgery. He was hospitalized for a long time, lost most of his memory and went home to recover. We all forgot about it and went about our lives as usual. I remember it vividly because it was my first visit to the ICU and it was a surreal experience for an 18 year old me.

I saw the guy 2 years after that. He came back to re-enroll in 1st year. His father was holding his hand while walking him around the administrative buildings. He was limping with the help of a cane. His speech was slurred. Some of the guys went to say Hi, but he didn’t recognize them.

I remember seeing him like that and feeling strangely emotional. My eyes welled up a little. I had played cricket/volleyball with the guy. He was a proper hunk and to see him as a hollow shell of his former self made me sad.

I hadn’t thought of him since that day, until yesterday. October made me think of him. I was one of the side characters in his life like one of the many friends of Shiuli who visited her a few times in the hospital and then slowly moved on.

One of her friends, Dan, didn’t. He stuck around. Why? October doesn’t have a straightforward answer for you. As a film, it’s more interested in observing the glacial pace of life and healing and human bonds that form by accident but last a lifetime.

October 1

You hang on to something, only God knows for what reason. You find a purpose in it? Sukoon? It makes you feel good about yourself? Or you’re just delusional and making up shit that isn’t there. Maybe you are overcompensating for the lack of anything else meaningful in your life? ‘Dhun’, ‘Lagan’, ‘Deewanagi’, ‘Obsession’, call it whatever. You grab on to it tightly and hold it close to your chest, and you don’t pay attention to anything that tells you to do otherwise.

Job hai, family hai. Sab kuch chhod chaad ke thodi baith sakte hai. Practical hona padta hai yaar.

But Dan’s practical is different. His practical tells him to let go of sanity and embrace this cause because her last sentence was a question about him. “Ae, Where is Dan?”, said absolutely casually, with no hidden meaning or feelings. A totally casual inquiry that just happened to be the last thing she said before she met a life altering tragedy. But he somehow makes it his crucible to carry.

That kind of inexplicable madness is of course what drives artists, explorers, scientists, and people who really really give a fuck about what they do. But sometimes ordinary people like Danish Waliya fall prey to it. There is nothing to be achieved here, in materialistic terms. It’s not even spiritual per se. It just is. It took the controls from him when he wasn’t looking and now he can’t go back. He loses appetite, sleep, friends, routine and even a career. For a person he barely knew. But this cause has become his life’s mission. It’s a beautiful mess.

He isn’t her boyfriend. Not even one of the close friends. They were Hotel Management trainees at Radisson, Dwarka and sometimes worked the same room or hung out at the roof where Dan brought everyone stolen booze coz he’s an irritable class clown but also a sweetheart. He’s annoying & temperamental but also capable of befuddling kindness. He don’t suffer fools or snobs. So you know, life’s difficult for him.

Thankfully, October surrounds him with nice people whose own kindness allows them to see through his annoyance. Friends are so important.

october 2

“She can’t survive. It’s highly unlikely. We should pull the plug. It’s too costly to keep her alive.”

He hears everything and he doesn’t get angry. There is no melodrama, emotional outburst, or an impassioned speech against euthanasia. The dexterity with which this film tiptoes around cliches is mesmerizing.

“She is just 21. I think she would have wanted to live.”

This is enough. Enough for her mother to clutch on and keep fighting for her barely conscious girl. He becomes a part of their life so effortlessly. The doctors, nurses, staff, Shiuli’s family, they all accept this stranger, with obvious initial reluctance. He finds a sort of relevance that we all crave for, in a place where hope springs eternal.

A friend of mine once told me that “Helping someone is inherently a very selfish act.” and I have found myself agreeing with it most of the times. The sleight of October is that it is skillfully oblivious of this selfishness, and so is Dan which is what makes him such an endearing character. Someone you would want to hug every time you see him. Varun Dhawan brings his A game here, not as a star, but as an actor.

Dan’s mother, in a beautiful scene between her and Shiuli’s mother Vidya, talks about the fear of losing ones kids once they grow up, hinting at Dan who hasn’t visited her even once in 10 months.

“Dan has been a pillar.”, Vidya (a perfectly cast Gitanjali Rao, an award winning animator and storyteller herself) tells her.

Dan was busy being the son of a single mother whose daughter may or may not have cared about him.

Vidya abruptly leaves the room and the camera linger a second too long on Dan’s mother and Shiuli as the scene changes.

This restrain in the writing and thoughtfulness in frames is magical and so unconventional for a Bollywood film (only ‘Court’ comes to mind), all thanks to the sensibilities of its writer Juhi Chaturvedi, who has matured into such a confident screenwriter over this trilogy of sorts of ‘Delhi Films’ (Vicky Donor, Piku). It also reminded me of this brilliant animated short Death of a Father, perhaps because a major chunk of it is set inside a hospital and it also refuses its audience a catharsis.

Delhi winter, with all its fog and smog and pollution, makes for a beautiful backdrop to this film that finds warmth in abundance in everyday moments. Be it a conversation between Dan and the Nurse (“Gift leke aana aap”), or between Dan and her friend who gives him 2500 rs for petrol (“Kitne chahiye? ” “Bas tank full ho jaaye.”) or when Shiuli’s siblings make fun of him or when he is the only one who remembers to get a wood-plank installed at the doorsteps because Shiuli will be on wheelchair when she comes back home (“Iske neeche baad me na cement lagwa denge“). It’s choke-full of such tender moments and just when you think that you can hold the water in your eyes, the exceptionally contained background score kicks in. This just might be Shantanu Moitra’s life’s best work, at par with this beautiful Leftovers theme that never fails to move me.

There is so much filth around us for the past week that I had kinda started giving up on humanity. Cynicism and bitterness are a constant when you are scrolling through your twitter/FB feed and seeing people spew hatred and garbage towards each other. In such a time, October was like a soul cleanse I so badly needed. You do too. Go for it, you will come out a better person, I promise you.

Avinash Verma

(Avinash‘ full time job is to watch films and in his free time he pretends to be a Digital Marketeer. He occasionally writes on Medium as well.)

Not a very exciting friday if you dont count the IPL. At the movies, we are counting the scores of two films – Right Ya Wrong and Hide & Seek. Right Ya Wrong is directed by Neeraj Pathak, produced by Mukta Arta and stars Sunny Deol, Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma and Isha Koppikar. Its seems to be inspired by Hollywood film Above Suspicion. Yes, Sunny Paaji is back! So, who else is excited ?

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – Come to think of it, a film like this would’ve been infinitely more unbearable, were it for sharp performers like Irrfan, or Konkona Sen Sharma (lawyer), or even walk-on presences like Suhasini Muley, or Govind Namdeo. What a waste of talents again; I guess then! – 2/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Cleverly plotted and never revealing all its cards at once, the film is a smart thriller. And yet the director fails to deliver a tight, slick Bollywood entertainer on the lines of those Abbas-Mustan whodunits, because his treatment’s so archaic. Even the incredibly gifted Konkona struggles embarrassingly through a scene in which she must reveal to a young child that her parent is dead. Saddled with juvenile dialogue, fine actors like Irrfan, Sunny and Konkona are wasted in what might have otherwise been a promising film – 2/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, RIGHT YAAA WRONG is a powerful thriller, with a knockout second half. However, the film faces strong opposition from two quarters – IPL cricket matches and the ongoing examination period. But a strong word of mouth should change the tide in its favour. Go, watch it… this one’s a pleasant surprise! – 3.5/5

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – The trouble with `Right Yaa Wrong’ is that it’s not tight enough, getting derailed when the little boy comes on for his I-love-my-papa scenes, and other extraneous stuff – 2/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – more than the story, it’s the performances that add meat to this small little film which comes unnoticed. While Sunny, Isha and Konkona are marvelously restrained, it’s Irrfan Khan who walks away with the film — and your applause — with his sledgehammer act of the nosey cop who knows something’s not right, but can’t actually put his finger on the hows of this whodunit. Of course, he knows who did it? But how does he show it to the world, specially when his own sister, Konkona, is determined to prove him wrong….- 3.5/5

Preeti Arora (Rediff) – Right Yaaa Wrong tries to raise issues about duty versus loyalty. Although the movie preaches a little bit it does keep you entertained and engrossed. Try not to miss it. The impact just wouldn’t be the same on DVD – 3/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror)For a typical Bollywood film, Right Yaaa Wrong has a fairly interesting story, except that the average direction and clumsy casting quite lets it down. Sunny Deol, remember him, returns as Ajay Sridhar, a deadly cop who is the ‘master of disguises’, astutely shown by the various wigs he wears through the movie -1.5/5

The other release of the week is also thriller. Hide & Seek is directed by Shawn Arranha, produced by Apoorva Lakhia and stars Purab Kohli, Mrinalini Sharma, Arjan Bajwa, Ayaaz Khan & Sameer Kocchar.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – The final nail in the coffin is the amateurish acting. Everyone shrieks and shakes a lot. And even otherwise reliable actors like Purab Kholi and Arjan Bajwa move into full blown hysterical mode. Hide and Seek could have been mildly diverting entertainment but it doesn’t make you scream or shiver – 2/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Directed by first-timer Shawn Arranha, Hide & Seek struggles to create a real sense of fear or suspense, even though the idea of setting this film in a shopping mall is a clever one. Unfortunately, the film packs only a handful of jump-in-your-seat moments, and is let down completely by amateurish dialogue and insufferable acting from its ensemble. Purab Kohli, Arjan Bajwa and Sameer Kochar, in particular, ham it up in their respective roles, and to be fair the entire production doesn’t come off looking much better than a school play – 1.5/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – The tangled web of relationships does unwind gradually to reveal undercurrents that lead towards death and denouement. And as the odd assortment of friends try to resolve their old differences, Santa Claus comes gunning for them from the dark shadows of the deserted mall. One by one, the group begins to crumble and the mystery peels, layer after layer. There’s enough pizzazz to keep the adrenalin pumping here – 3/5

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – Hide and Seek’ tries to be a Bollywood slasher film, but it doesn’t have the requisite thrill-and- chill factor. Purab Kohli is the only well-known face, so he has the largest part ( he’s the one who’s been let loose from the asylum), and if you are a fan of movies in which masked figures with sharp objects go after screaming victims, all of whom manage to reveal a body part or two at all times, the better to be skewered, you will know how it will end. The end should have been a shocker. But, given the general loose tone of the film, it’s not – 1/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – You couldn’t care less for these characters to bother with their bumbling back-story; never mind that the nuggets in the film itself don’t eventually add up. A group in an inexplicably nightmarish mess as this would pool in resources to figure a way out first. Not these happy campers – 1.5/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, HIDE & SEEK is a gripping suspense drama that keeps you guessing till its end. Go for it, if a good suspense thriller is what you’re looking at! – 3/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror)Hide & Seek is an amateurish attempt at making a super slick slasher thriller which doesn’t quite add up. The film stars a bunch of wannabe actors and is helmed by a debutant director who tries to be too clever by half – .5/5

Ok, we are going back to the small screen this weekend. IPL seems more exciting.

This friday, its Chandan Arora’s Striker starring Siddharth and Padmapriya. Earlier Chandan Arora gave us two delightful films Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon and Main, Meri Patni aur Woh. Will he deliver a hattrick ? Actor Siddharth has been going on and on and on about the film through his tweets. Lets see if its scoring well with the critics.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV)Striker is the kind of film that fills you with regret. There is skilful direction here, some nicely etched moments and commendable performances and yet the film never gathers enough momentum to make an impact. Striker never becomes the film it could have been – 2.5/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – The high point of the film is its authenticity, its heartwarming tale and its performances. Don’t believe the lack lustre promos. The film has more meat — and meaning — than it promises – 3/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – Striker, directed by Chandan Arora, falters because the story doesn’t arrest your attention in entirety and also, it seems like a never-ending ride, even though the running time is approx. 2 hours. Frankly, the story overstays its welcome – 1.5/5

Sukanya Varma (Rediff) – Ultimately what makes Striker a big deal is not its obviously visceral atmosphere or the various tangents it branches into but an impressive ensemble of little to unknown faces that allow you to interpret the story with an entirely fresh perspective. An interesting film with a lot on its mind, Striker isn’t comfort cinema but I will recommend it anyway -3/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – The story is in the grittiness of experience. Judgment isn’t fed; purpose, not expressly defined. This can be a problem for certain audiences who like to be told everything: who’s the loved hero or feared villain, why to empathise, when to emote… Sure this film is different then. Shouldn’t each be anyway? Worth it, all the way – 3/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Despite Arora’s solid efforts, the film loses steam well before the end credits roll. Although only two hours in running time, the movie feels endlessly long, and fails to culminate satisfyingly. It’s not a bad film by any measure, but it most definitely could’ve been better. Watch it for some excellent acting and for its gritty realistic feel – 2.5/5

Khalid Mohamed (PFC) – All said and seen, Striker lets off steam, like a pressure cooker come to boil. Now only if it had been smoothly edited, you would have said, “Wow.” In its current shape, you end up saying, “Hey, not bad”  about this Carrom-a- Cola. So, do it again Chandan Arora…but look at the final edit objectively. Please – 3/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) – Finally, the story of the carrom player seemed far more captivating than that of the riots. Luckily, the dialogue is consistently sharp. Sitting on top of a water tank, Siddharth reminisces, “Us waqt humko yeh nahin maloom tha ki Bombay ko jitna bhi dekho, roz thoda aur dikhta hai…”. How true. In the end, Striker is a well-made film and worth a watch – 2/5

Shweta Parande (Buzz18) – All in all, it’s difficult to say if Striker will work in multiplexes or single screens. But if the plot were a little cleaner and crisper, it would’ve struck a chord with everyone – 2.5

So, the average seems to be between 2 and 3.

This friday there are two hindi releases. One is the biggie Chance Pe Dance directed by Ken Ghosh (Ishq Vishq, Fida) starring Shahid Kapoor and Genelia De Souza.

The other film is the indie The Waiting Room, produced by Sunil Doshi, directed by Maneej Premnath and starring Raj Singh Chaudhary (Gulaal). Lets see if Chance Pe Dance got any chance.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – It seems like both Genelia and Shahid are squeezing in as many expressions as they can into each scene to compensate for the lack of a coherent script. But all their energy cannot fire up this inherently dull film. Chance Pe Dance isn’t the hot weekend ticket you were waiting for – 2/5 

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – You also wish there was more energy in the sequences that fill in the spaces between the work-outs on the dance floor : the film gets lax too often. And the choreography could have been much more exciting to match an actor who is such a fleet-footed mover and shaker : the only one who’s perhaps a tad better is Hrithik Roshan. Kapoor needs a story with more depth, and direction – 2/5 

Raja Sen (Rediff) – There are a few warm touches and Kapoor occasionally manages to sparkle. But there are far better places for a showreel than in a movie theatre. It’s mostly harmless, and certainly harebrained. Leave it to the Shahid-obsessed – 1.5/5 

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Ken Ghosh borrows liberally from such Hollywood films as School of Rock and the Jessica Alba-starrer Honey. But with it’s theme of a struggling actor’s ultimate vindication, in the end I suppose Chance Pe Dance could be described as “Luck By Chance-For-Dummies”. Although it would be a crime to mention the two films in the same breath – 1/5

Gaurav Malani (ET) – Sadly, scripts are written for reality shows today but there is no real good scripting involved in feature films. So in times when dance talent-hunt shows on television promise more drama and entertainment, you find no good reason why to give this dance a chance – 2/5 

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – The film may not have the emotional quotient of Ishq Vishq, Shahid and Ken’s first film that set the box office on fire, yet it does have its moments. A better scripted, less cliched second half would have surely given the film a better chance to dazzle and shake – 3/5

Taran Adarsh(Indiafm) – Shahid makes a sincere effort and the honesty shows in a number of scenes. But let’s not forget that the best of actors cannot rise beyond a pitiable script. On the whole, this dance stands no chance – 1.5/5

Abhijit Mhamunkar (Buzz18) – There was much buzz in the media about the film being rewritten and re-shot after changing the original heroine, Jiah Khan – replaced by Genelia D’Souza. Also, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! writer Manu Rishi was roped in for additional dialogues and scriptwriting. But you wonder what changes the makers have made, because neither is the film entertaining nor presenting anything new – 1.5/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – Between those patchy, over-decorated music television tracks, the banal hero fails a courier boy’s job; sleeps in a car (when he could’ve moved in with his girl); joins a school to teach dance; enlists kids to win a competition; enlists himself to win a talent hunt… The show goes on, and so on, and so forth. As does the refrain: “Tu star ban sakta hai. Tu star ban gaya. Mein star banaunga….” (Whatever that means) – 1.5/5

It seems Ken Ghosh can go back to making music videos. Next is Chance Impossible! Will update with more reviews as soon as they are out.

And not a single review of The Waiting Room so far ? What happened to the indie supporters ?

This filmy friday there are two hindi releases. Pyaar Impossible and Dulha Mil Gaya. Pyaar Impossible is directed by Jugal Hansraj and stars Uday Chopra and Priyanka Chopra. Lets see if its any good.

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, PYAAR IMPOSSIBLE is a feel-good film. If you are a romantic, this one’s for you. Even if you’re not, still watch it. Its one of those films that will bring a smile on your face – something that most Hindi films don’t do these days – 3/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Pyaar Impossible doesn’t work because it’s hard to empathize with any of the characters and because the actors fail to rise above the flawed script. It’s back-breakingly long at two hours and twenty-odd minutes, and I can’t remember one single scene that made me smile. The humour is ordinary, and the pre-climax romantic scene in a Mac store is the most embarrassing I can remember in recent times – 1/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – This is not Notting Hill, in only as much as Uday Chopra isn’t quite Hugh Grant. This is still an incessantly stunted ‘Hollywood rom-com’ knock-off, to the point that a neatly dictated formula will allow – 1.5/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – Nothing stupendous here. Just a sweet and soppy flavour with a picture-perfect Priyanka: Watchable – 3/5

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – Uday plays the nerd with absolute sincerity but it’s hard to summon up any affection for him. And Dino seems to have decided that expression is a waste of time. His face just stays blank. Pyaar Impossible is depressingly dim-witted – 1.5/5

Sukanya Varma (Rediff) – It’s the kind of film, which could get over in five minutes if only Chopra 1 would let Chopra 2 finish his sentence. But no, Chopra 2 takes two and a half good hours to spill the beans leaving you with little besides a super hot Chopra 1 to admire – 2.5/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – She’s the beauty and he’s the geek. And she ends up falling in love with him. Yeah, right, if your father is one of Bollywood’s biggest producers, anything is possible – 2/5

Gaurav Malani (ET) – The moral of the film is that one shouldn’t judge a person by their looks. Going by that, however cool this candyfloss flick might appear, it’s still shallow on content. Pyaar Impossible might have certainly not aimed for a ‘10 on 10’. But is it really impossible to even strike an average? – 2/5

Meena Iyer (Mumbai Mirror) – Honestly guys wake up and smell the coffee. Forget love, even hate isn’t possible here.  This film leaves you bereft of emotion – 2/5

Shweta Parande (Buzz18) – There is nothing new in Pyaar Impossible. Watch it only if you don’t mind a predictable story with a hot Priyanka Chopra, and some catchy music – 2.5/5

The other release is Dulha Mil Gaya directed by Mudassar Aziz and starring Shahrukh Khan (5 or 70 percent ?), Sushmita Sen and Fardeen Khan. And here is the score card.

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – The recipe is simple and uncomplicated…Take My fair Lady. Add Dulhan Wahi Jo Piya Man Bhaaye. Spray Naseeb Apna Apna. Sprinkle DDDLJ and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Hey presto, Dulha Mil Gaya is ready to serve – 1.5/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Dulha Mil Gaya starring Fardeen Khan and Sushmita Sen, has been four years in the making, but has arrived almost fifteen years too late. A predictable old-fashioned entertainer that’s a throwback to those homogenous family films of the mid-90s, Dulha Mil Gaya borrows so much from the Yash Chopra/Karan Johar school of synthetic filmmaking that it’s hard to tell if there’s anything original to this story at all – 2/5

Anupama Chopra (NDTV)Dulha Mil Gaya is a film caught in a time warp both literally and figuratively. The much-delayed movie is a bargain-basement version of Yash Chopra-Karan Johar movies from the late 1990s – 2/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – The problem with Dulha Mil Gaya lies in the fact that it has nothing new to offer. And that’s ironical at a time when almost every film that falls off Bollywood’s conveyor belt is brimming over with newness: new ideas, new plots, new musical notes, new actors, new narrative styles. Unforgivable – 2.5/5 

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – I check my cellphone for the time yet again. The filmmakers could’ve checked for the year (they were making this film in as well) – 1/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – I suppose it’s funny to see Sushmita talking to her dog, Bozo, and kiss its miniature; or blow kisses to her invisible audience; or even behave like the eternal Miss Universe. But hey, that crown was in 1994. Grow up, please, Sushmita. Start acting. And do something less formulaic than “Indian girls rishte nibhana jaant hain” (Indian girls know how to keep up relationships). Grrr – 1/5

Preeti Arora (Rediff) – The West Indies and Trinidad are scenic and breathtaking. These locations haven’t been used too often in our films. But no film has ever managed to sustain itself on the basis of its locations. Watch the film if you can’t think of any other way to spend your weekend. Or else just avoid – 2.5/5

Gaurav Malani (ET) – Dulha Mil Gaya literally breaks new grounds with taking a Bollywood plot to Trinidad and Tobago. But beyond that this marriage miscarriage movie moves east of West Indies to introduce India for the zillionth time as nothing more than a small village in pastureland Punjab – 1.5/5

Meena Iyer (Mumbai Mirror) – They shot Dulha Mil Gaya all the way in Trinidad & Tobago. They could have shot it in Timbuktu and it wouldn’t stand an ice-cube’s chance in hell of surviving –  2/5

It seems impossible to expect even a half decent movie this week. Neither Pyaar nor Dulha. Head out for Sherlock Holmes in new avtaar or Paranormal Activity.

Enough of VVC, CB and 3 Idiots, lets move on to this week’s hindi release. We detest to count any Celina Jaitley release and so that leaves us with only one film Raat Gayi Baat Gayi, with the desi indie boys. The bunch we love! The film is directed by Sourabh Shukla ans has Rajat Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Vinay Shukla, Anu Menon, Dalip Tahil, Navneet Nishan and Irawati Harshe. But do they deliver this time ? Here’s the score card.

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, RAAT GAYI, BAAT GAYI? doesn’t work – 1.5/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Saurabh Shukla directs with an easy hand, allowing the actors enough room to interpret their characters, but it’s the writing here that’s mundane. Most scenes lack the energy that was required to elevate this film into the sly, tongue-in-cheek satire that it was intended to be. What you get is a promising but sadly tiresome film that feels too long even though it’s less than two hours in running time – 2/5

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – The film plays footsie, without really going all the way. How about something braver and quirkier the next time around? This merry band filmmakers can do it – 3/5

Mayank Shekhar (Hindustan Times) – Bashes in ‘Bollywood’ back in the day meant a grand piano at the centre. The hero crooned away his message of love. The heroine joined him for a dance. A huge crowd of suits and sarees gathered in a circle, quietly stared, and sipped their drink. Some white people floated in the back-rows. Oh we miss those! This one neither touches nor tickles. Better still, get us Hangover any day – 2/5

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – Have you ever been to one of those excruciatingly boring parties in which the conversation is so stilted and the guests so banal that you want to pick up a fork and gouge your eyes out? If not, you might want to catch Raat Gayi, Baat Gayi, which is pitched as a romantic comedy but is neither very funny nor very romantic – 2/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – Watch out for some fine performances by the entire cast. Veterans like Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak and Ranvir Shorey are eminently watchable as always. But it is Neha Dhupia who is fast emerging as the natty new wave girl with her newfound talent – 3/5

Gaurav Malani (ET) – With a head-spinning narrative about the aftermath of an intoxicating late night party, Raat Gayi Baat Gayi is like wine that takes time to mature but is your perfect partner on a lazy evening – 3/5

Anand Vaishnav (Buzz18) – Raat Gayi Baat Gayi is very funny in parts, held together with delightful performances. Catch it for some spontaneous acting – 2.5/5

Meena Iyer (Mumbai Mirror) – RGBG starts well and its witty dialogue keeps the viewer engrossed up to a point. It makes no deliberate effort to copy the Hollywood hit Hangover either in its plot or treatment, yet there’s a borrowed sense of déjà-vu. And had the director kept the viewers interest level continuously going, he may have had a winner on hand. Where RGBG falls a few notches short is the pace – 2/5

 Seems like average is between 2-3 out of 5. 

Raj Kumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots is here! So, all is well or not so well ? Looks like its a divided house. It has Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, R Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Boman Irani and Omi Vaidya in the the lead. Here are some of the early reviews….

Raja Sen (Rediff) – This isn’t a bad film, though. By which I mean it conjures up a few moments, it will doubtless make some people cry, and every now and then we glimpse some heart. Yet it hurts to see that this is traditional Bollywood masala schlock, with scenes calculated to tickle and to evoke sympathy. It’s not awful at all, but since when did ‘not bad’ become good? Dr Feelgood doesn’t make the cut this time, and we need to measure him by the high bar his previous excellence has set — by which degree this is a whopper of a disappointment – 2/5

Gaurav Malani (ET) – The film redefines Idiot as ‘I do it on my own terms’. After watching the film, you won’t mind being certified as an idiot. If you still don’t approve of the film, you are a certified cynic. 3 Idiots is one of the most entertaining films of the decade – 5/5

Anand Vaishnav (Buzz18) – 3 Idiots is a happy film with a positive message. But you never feel for or root for its characters. Releasing in the festive season, this film will deliver truckloads of laughter, but might not satisfy the expectations of watching an Aamir Khan-Rajkumar Hirani film. It’s just another feel good, time pass watch – 3/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, 3 Idiots easily ranks amongst Aamir, Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s finest films. Do yourself and your family a favour: Watch 3 Idiots. It’s emotional, it’s entertaining, it’s enlightening. The film has tremendous youth appeal and feel-good factor to work in a big way – 4.5/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – Mr Hirani, Mahatma, we bow to you. Aamir, we think you’ll make a great HRD Minister. And yes, a word for the man who produced it as he did the Munnabhais. More power to you, Vidhu Vinod Chopra. We know now why you speak so much, so long, and so loudly. It’s because movies such as these can silence everyone else – 5/5

Nandini Ramnath (Time Out) – The message is a bit mixed, since the movie ultimately celebrates achievement. Given how Ranchchod ends up, it’s clear that whether you’re self-taught or schooled, you’ll remain an idiot if you aren’t also talented to begin with – 2/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – Before 3 Idiots on screen, you still don’t feel like the fourth idiot in the theatre. That’s a non-Bollywood relief. This is the sort of movie you’ll take home with a smile and a song on your lips, unless the hype has entirely messed up with your expectations – 3.5/5

Since Anupama Chopra is married to Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Mayank Shekhar has reviewed the film for NDTV this friday.

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – It makes the point, but not as magically as it could have, given Hirani’s unique gift of building extraordinary moments out of the ordinary. ‘3 Idiots’ was good in parts, but it didn’t blow me away – 3/5

Aniruddha Guha (DNA) – Even as you have come to accept Khan’s genius at ensuring a good product for audiences every time, this one is a Rajkumar Hirani show all the way. And it becomes easy to say that because even if you take Khan out of the equation, the film would probably make a similar impact – 4/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – The high point of the film is the fact that director Rajkumar Hirani says so much, and more, without losing his sense of humour and the sheer lightness of being. The film is a laugh riot, despite being high on fundas – 4.5/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – An earnest but calculated effort that runs, but never flies. Watch it anyway, because it’s the season to be jolly, and good laughs are guaranteed – 3/5

Whats your take ? Where do you stand between 2 and 5 ?