Posts Tagged ‘Gaurav Malani’

This friday there are three films and all very different. Road, Movie, Attithi Tum Kab Jaoge and Thanks Maa. Road, Movie is by Dev Benegal and starring Abhay Deol, Tannistha Chatterjee & Satish Kaushik.  First, Road, Movie. Will the poster boy of new wave hindi cinema Abhay Deol deliver again ? Or is it desi exotica packaged as pure pretentious fuck for firangis ?

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – Be warned: the film is slow and in parts, clunky and underwritten. But Benegal tells the tale with such tenderness and affection that you are slowly but irrevocably seduced by his vision – 3/5

Raja Sen (Rediff) – Benegal’s screenplay ends up, as we said, like Deol: it goes nowhere, driving aimlessly around in circles. And yet there are charming characters, and visuals to remember. It’s a casual drive, short enough to not mind, long enough to leave you slightly tired. Sometimes a ride is worth just what you see through the moving window – 3/5

Gaurav Malani (Indiatimes) – Is it a roller-coaster road movie? Is it a novel tale about touring cinema? Sadly, despite immense potential, it’s neither of the two. This one is mediocre middle-of-the-road movie. Dev Benegal’s Road, Movie is designed as one of those typical festival films that pretend to be a transformative journey of a character who en route discovers the true meaning of life, love and blah blah blah – 2/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – The point of this road-less journey remains mysteriously unknown though, given it’s the premise. You can’t quite place the leading man either, the wizard of pose: in Levi’s jeans, tightly trendy tee, cellphone in hand, iPod to the ears… You don’t know where he’s coming from, to figure where he’s going. He literally sells tel (exotic Indian oil) for a family business. Gone to get oil, or ‘gaya tel lene’ is of course an unrelated Indian metaphor for screwing yourself over – 2/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN)Road, Movie directed by Dev Benegal, is a slow and rickety ride that tires you out by the time it reaches its destination. A visually stunning but emotionally hollow adventure, packed with tired stereotypes, the film is an unsatisfying watch even at running time of 90-odd minutes – 2/5

Shubhra Gupta(Indian Express) – The two parts of the title, separated by a comma, conjure up two of the most beguiling subjects a film can have. Being on the road, journeying from point A to point B, with or without a destination, can be magical. And there’s nothing more so than the movies. Dev Benegal’s latest, which marries the two, lacks the enchantment this sort of film must necessarily possess to take hold of, and enthrall – 2/5

Nikhat Kazmi(TOI) – For, Road, Movie is no English, August. It’s less engaging and low on story, although, the characters are rich and the canvas is colourful. The film works slowly and sensuously, drawing you into its folksy tale of a Sheherzade-like journey through a landscape dotted with mean cops and marauding gangsters from the water mafia that rules the parched desert – 3/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) – In the end, all the actors have done a fine job while the journey has been told in a lavish style, but that’s about it. So be warned, you will only enjoy Road, Movie if you are an Abhay Deol fan or in the mood for different cinema. The rest may find it boring – 2/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, ROAD, MOVIE is more for the festival circuit and some connoisseurs of art house cinema, who may savour it. That’s about it! – 1.5/5

The second film Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge is directed by Ashwini Dheer and stars Ajay Devgan, Konkona Sen & Paresh Rawal. Three superb actors and a comedy ? Am not interested. Lets see.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – Dheer has a stellar cast of three national award winning actors but he doesn’t give them sparkling lines or substantial moments. Only Ajay Devgn gets to chew the scenery with a nicely done climactic speech about the relationship between children and parents. Aththi Tum Kab Jaoge attempts to impart valuable lessons but the comic sugar-coating just doesn’t crackle enough – 2/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – Everybody over-does it. Among gags after gags, one or two mildly work. But it’s the cast that had initially inspired confidence. Devgn’s last comedy, All The Best, was in parts a riot. Sen Sharma’s last, Wake Up Sid, was a wonderfully affectionate rom-com. And as anyone will tell you, not just a wealthy Gujarati trader in Jersey, Paresh Rawal is Paresh Rawal. None of them (bumbling together in a room) even vaguely add up – 1.5/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Ajay Devgan and Konkona Sen Sharma, credible actors both, sportingly participate in much of the film’s idiocy, and yet succeed in never turning this film into the kind of offensive, unwatchable comedy that it might have easily become in the hands of such actors as Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor who could learn a thing or two about restraint from the leads in this film – 2.5/5

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – there’s nothing fresh about Dhir’s film, which employs tired characters ( Satish Kaushik playing a bejeweled film producer who keeps saying `jai mata di’, for instance), and even more tiresome clichés. There’s not much you can do with a plot which uses a string of noisy farts as a leit-motif, not even a couple who tries to be lived-in : both Devgn and Sen Sharma pull off being married, with an offspring, by bickering well. But neither is given enough to do, the whole focus being Rawal, who is kept very busy not being as funny as he can be. Misplaced emotion is stuffed in here and there, derailing the comic momentum – 2/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, ATKJ is a hilarious movie, but unlike any slapstick comedy. It’s a light-hearted film with sensibility, humour and a strong undercurrent of emotion. This atithi is sure to find a place in your heart! – 3.5/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – Neat. Subtle. And softly funny. Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge is quite unlike the hysterical laugh acts that have been trying terribly hard to make you laugh in recent Bollywood. More of a chuckle-and-a-smirk drama, this one doesn’t even try to convince you that life is all ha-ha-he-he. Instead, it creates situations and characters that fill you with warmth and make you smile with the familiar quirkiness of recognisable situations – 3/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror)Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? is a comedy specially tailored for the average Indian family. Thus, everything about the film is average. Inspired by a Sharad Joshi article, the film is about an unexpected guest, who refuses to go away; always an interesting premise for chaos. Unfortunately, this premise never really gets its full play in Atithi… as the screenplay remains tepid and the jokes tedious – 2/5

Nithya Ramani (Rediff) – Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge is a lighthearted entertainer that tickles your funny bone several times in the film. The film has its share of one-liners and and funny situations, which you can identify with. It bears a resemblance to Satyajit Ray’s Bengali film Agantuk – 2.5/5

And the indie film of the film is Thanks Maa directed by Irfan Kamal. The child actor Shams Patel has bagged a National Award for this one. But why such a boring & generic title ?

Gaurav Malani (Indiatimes) – Thanks to heartening films like these, one never loses faith and hope from Hindi cinema. For a new perspective on the mean city and meaningful cinema, Thanks Maa is strongly recommended! – 3.5/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – It may be unfair to expect a kid to carry an entire movie on his weak shoulders. It still proves how the child – raw in innocence — is the father of the leading man. Adults ‘act’. Just watch veterans on the same show — Raghuveer Yadav, Alok Nath…. I’m glad the boy earned himself a National Award – 2/5

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – This is a film hard to watch, but it is a film that needs to be watched. Pity it’s come into theatres unpublicized – 3/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) – Towards the end, the screenplay gets a bit carried away, but the honesty in the story and the acting keeps you going. It may not be strictly entertainment, but Thanks Maa is a brave effort, which deserves your support. Go see it for the street kids, the ones we avoid all day long – 3/5

Nikhat Kazmi( TOI) – Watch out for the kids. They leave you spellbound with their guttural, gutsy act. Surprisingly, and thankfully, the Censor Board has displayed a sense of maturity too by letting them speak in hardcore street lingo (read abusive). The film, ostensibly inspired by Tsotsi, Gavin Hood’s film that won the Oscar, does get a bit long-winded in the second half and the climax might seem schmaltzy, but these are forgivable in view of the sledgehammer impact of the film. It fills you with a yearning to do something, anything…. – 4/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, THANKS MAA is truly original, innovative and pioneering cinema. The film has won several awards and adulation across the globe and deserves every bit of it. This is one meaningful film you can’t afford to miss! – 3.5/5

Looks like one more ok-dokay week at the movies. Out of three, Thanks Maa seems to have got the best reviews. You know what to pick.

Its filmy friday. Its Khan-day! Karan Johar’s big budget film My Name Is Khan is the release of the week, starring Shah Rukh Khan & Kajol. So, does its score or not ? Lets check out.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV)My Name is Khan is a film made with sincerity and sweat, ambition and conviction. It grapples with the most urgent and fraught issue facing humanity: religion. It features a striking performance by Shah Rukh Khan – 3/5

Raja Sen (Rediff) – Karan Johar’s finally made his first grown-up film, and made it well. It could have been the stuff of much more, but let us leave that for another day. This is a film that will inspire, make aware, make happy. And for now, let us celebrate how the man whose name is on the marquee just proved why he deserves that crown he so often boasts of  – 3.5/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – The film shamelessly tugs at your heartstrings and on more than one occasion wallops you to weep. Aided by solid camerawork, tight editing and a layered story, Johar crafts an engaging, stirring saga that is earnest and noble. With this message movie in the mainstream format, the director takes a step in the right direction. Watch it for its star who doesn’t miss a beat – 3.5/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – In khushi or gham, Karan Johar always wants to please. He stuffs his goodie bag with so many little bon bons that the viewer finds it difficult to look away. It’s the same with My Name is Khan – 3.5/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) –  Forrest Gump in its scope, Rain Man in its approach, slightly convenient in its ‘Bollywood opera’, world-class in its photographic treatment (Ravi K Chandran), more sorted than Kurban (from the same producer, along a similar theme); you can sense, throughout, honesty in the film’s purpose – 3/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, MNIK is a fascinating love story, has an angle of religion and a world-shaking incident as a backdrop. It not only entertains, but also mesmerises, enthrals and captivates the viewer in those 2.40 hours. At the same time, a film like MNIK is sure to have a far-reaching influence due to its noble theme. I strongly advocate, don’t miss this one – 4.5/5 

Gaurav Malani (Indiatimes) – Like his placard that reads ‘Repair almost anything’, Shah Rukh Khan makes up for every minor inconsistency in the film. My Name is Khan is worth a watch on his name alone – 3/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – It’s Khan, from the epiglotis (read deep, inner recesses), not `kaan’ from the any-which-way, upper surface. In other words, it’s the K-factor — Karan (Johar) and Khan (Shah Rukh) — like you’ve never seen, sampled and savoured before. My Name is Khan is indubitably one of the most meaningful and moving films to be rolled out from the Bollywood mills in recent times. It completely reinvents both the actor and the film maker and creates a new bench mark for the duo who has given India some of the crunchiest popcorn flicks – 5/5

Sukanya Varma (Rediff) – The verbose nature of the script doesn’t leave much scope for gestures. Although the image of Khan standing on a deserted highway with a sign board that reads ‘Repair almost everything’ is true to the soul of this film. Even if it’s the only one of its kind – 3/5

Khalid Mohamed (PFC) – At the end of 18 reels,  you do carry something precious  home – SRK and Kajol. They are absolutely electric. Undoubtely, they don’t make’em like that anymore. And never will, which is why MNIK is absolutely compulsory viewing. You may have problems with it. Yet it is a must-must-see – 4/5

Shweta Parande (Buzz18) – One of the important films of Hindi cinema. Although it messes up its length, there are some touching scenes not to be missed. My Name is Khan has many messages and not just an ‘Autism Alert’ and ‘Terror Alert’. Go for it and enjoy interpreting – 3/5

Phelim O’Neill (Guardian) – It’s stunningly shot, on mostly US locations, and tackles plenty of hard topics – its deceptively light touch gets heavier as things progress. It’s a shame that much of the intended audience will not see this well-intentioned, slickly constructed and just plain likable film, for reasons that are very little to do with the film itself – 3/5

So, the verdict is between 3 and 5, scoring 3.5, 4, 4.5 and 5 too! Seems like much better than KANK which had quite extreme reactions.

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 ?

Dhan Te dan! Its finally here! The combo of Shimit Amit & Jaideep Sahni. Starring Ranbir Kapoor, Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year is this friday’s film. And here are the reviews….

Raja Sen (Rediff) – Rocket Singh might not be everyone’s idea of a good time. It’s not a film that grips you from the word go, or one that leaves you rolling in the aisles, but it’s an impassioned effort that tosses skepticism out the window. Watch it, really – 3.5/5

Anupama Chopra (NDTV)Rocket Singh never becomes more than the sum of its parts but still I recommend that you make time for it. Just be prepared to be patient – 3/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN)Rocket Singh touches a chord because it’s that rare film that urges us to examine our lives and to question the rules by which we live it. It has a life-affirming quality that will appeal to every one of us who has ever hesitated before taking the easy way over the right way – 3.5/5

Gaurav Malani (ET) – A line from the film states, “Risk toh Spiderman ko bhi lena padta hai, main toh phir bhi Salesman hoon” (Even Spiderman has to take risk, I am just a Salesman). The makers have taken as much risk to sell a not-so-regular story to the audiences. And it has paid off pretty well. Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year is one of the most rocking films of the year – 4/5

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – This is also the film which seems to have got a lost-in-the-woods studio back to its real strength: solid story-telling and believable performances, minus the designer bods and empty plots it has of late fallen prey to. Can it be, finally, the second coming of Yashraj? – 3/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – Go watch it to see why even zero has a value. And why Ranbir Kapoor is the future of Mumbai films. An effortless actor, he’s just the perfect embodiment of the times we live in. Confident without being cocky, spirited without being arrogant, hard working if not always gifted, he is the Young Indian we all want to see – 4/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR is more of a documentary on the life of a salesman. Lack of music, romance and entertainment, coupled with zilch hype, will go against the film. A colossal disappointment – 1.5/5

Khalid Mohamed (PFC) – Although the dramaturgy ends up blurring the line between scamming and honesty,  a holier-than-thou attitude is maintained throughout. Sure do tell us that corruption and shortchanging the customer don’t finally pay… but please tell us that with clarity and conviction. As for the finale, centering around a phone call, it happens so much by coincidence that it doesn’t ring true at all. Without revealing the resolution, suffice it to say that it’s as deflating as a punctured tyre – 2/5

Anand Vaishnav (Buzz18)Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year is eventually a feel good watch that talks about ethics, without sounding like a moral science lecture. All that mundane management talk about ‘service over sales’ and ‘people over numbers’ never sounded cooler – 4/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – The winning duo of Shimit Amin and Jaideep Sahni may not be offering you a Chak De India this time round, but they do sculpt some rare moments on celluloid that end up redefining the pusuit of happiness as something more than mainu chaida, chaida, chaida – 3.5/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – You’d much rather stick with this rare Rocket, than an yearlong racket that goes on in the name of filmmaking in Mumbai. Harpreet’s unique honesty in a sales firm goes well in the context of this film within Bollywood itself – 3/5

Update – Just back from the screening. Dont miss this one!