Posts Tagged ‘Minty Tejpal’

If you missed the latest episode of Koffee With Karan, we have got the most interesting part of the show. Our VOTD – Critics talking about filmmakers and the directors talking about the film reviews.

KWK had Raj Kumar Hirani, Farah Khan and Imtiaz Ali as guests on the show. And the critics were Mayank Shekhar, Minty Tejpal, Sarita Tanwar, Anupama Chopra, Rajeev Masand and Taran Adarsh. But WTF is Sarita Tanwar ?! Someone who has no clue about films and rated Once Upon A Time In Mumbai and My Name Is Khan 4.5 stars! And Taran Adarsh ? Well, thats a joke. Or joker. You decide.

What ? When ? Where ? How much ? And why ?

Its an age-old debate. And things are changing now. In west, the new rule is “Forget the critics, Fear Twitter”! Plus, there are many popular bloggers now whom viewers trust more than many critics because they know that there cant be any hidden agenda there. And may be thats why many publications are in the process of doing away with critics.

Ok, enough of our review gyaan. Since we are putting it as VOTD, do check it out. Taran Adarsh, popularly known as Trash Adarsh for his movie and film reviews, discusses the issue with Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror), Meena Iyer (Mumbai Mirror/TOI) and Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN).

Some candid confessions, some strong opinions, west versus east, do producers/directors try to influence them and why do they write/say, the way they do. And they even discuss Nikhat Kazmi!

(PS – Mumbai Mirror belongs to TOI group)

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.

Dhen Tedan! Its friday! And the dope is out. Dibakar Banerjee’s Love Sex Aur Dhokha. Plus Vikram Bhatt is back again and is still struggling to scare us. Sir, aapka naam hi kaafi hai ab!  He has competition only from Ramu. And the third release is Lahore. First, its LSD. Click here to read our take on it.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV)LSD falters in the second half. The second story feels too long and the last isn’t as smoothly done as the first two. But the film is a worthy experiment created by one of Bollywood’s most imaginative and original directors. Let me warn you that it is a polarizing film. You’re going to either love it or you’re going to hate it. But I strongly recommend that you don’t ignore it – 3.5/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – In the end, Love, Sex aur Dhokha is consistently gripping, although the third story strikes me as a tad contrived. You will be shocked, you will be startled, but walking out of the theatre, you know you have just seen what is possibly the most important Hindi film since Satya and Dil Chahta Hai. Not only does it redefine the concept of “realistic cinema”, it opens a world of possibilities in terms of how you can shoot films now – 4/5

Raja Sen (Rediff) – It is, as the oft-abused phrase goes, an ‘important’ film, and one you should watch if only to acquaint yourself with the way things inevitably work. It’s bleak, bittersweet, funny and markedly unglamorous, and yet you come out humming the theme tune, your head blown clear off your shoulders. Hell yeah. Welcome to adulthood, Bollywood, can we get you another beer? – 5/5

Shubhra Gupta (IE) – It holds up an unflinching mirror to the primal screws that the world turns on, and shows us the way we are. I have one minor grouse : I wanted it to be edgier, darker, but it still took me to a place where practically no current Hindi filmmaker, barring an Anurag Kashyap or a Vishal Bharadwaj, has transported me to – 4/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – With Love Sex Aur Dhokha, he has shown how far a Rs 3 crore budget can stretch if you have ingenuity and courage. He tells the story of three intertwined couples, Rahul and Shruti, two film school students who elope with tragic consequences; Rashmi and Adarsh, who work in a store; and Mrignayana and Prabhat, a sting specialist and a wannabe star from Meerut. It’s partly hilarious, mostly sad, yes quite misogynistic but also very unusual – 4/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – It’s a sort of flick you ideally discover without burdens of expectation: a caveat you must bear in mind, in case you were planning on rushing off to cinemas right away. Where any Bollywood movie without a gyrating, lip-synching hero perceives itself as ‘different’, this one, from an audience’s point of view, is truly an experiment – 3.5/5

Gaurav Malani (Indiatimes) – Love Sex aur Dhokha shouldn’t be restricted with tags like experimental, offbeat, path-breaking, low-budget or multiplex cinema. While it happens to be all of these, it goes beyond with its smart story and superlative storytelling to be a brilliant and entertaining film. This autobiographical account of a camera is absolutely recommended! – 4/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) – For today’s liberal, urban, rich India, Love, Sex Aur Dhokha is the new age roti, kapda aur makaan, a trio of issues that need urgent undressing, sorry, addressing. LSD is totally recommended to all adult citizens, regardless of gender or political affiliations – 4/5 

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, LSD is original, innovative and ground-breaking cinema, which will shock and provoke you. The film is definitely not for the faint-hearted or those who swear by stereotypical fares, but for those who yearn for a change. The youth, especially in metros, should fall hook, line and sinker for this one. The volatile title as also the explosive content should make this low-cost film [budgeted at approx. Rs. 1.5 cr.] a commercial accomplishment! – 4/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – Don’t expect time-pass entertainment. Think beyond run-of-the-mill and see how Ekta Kapoor re-invents herself as the producer of contemporary Indian cinema’s first full-blown experimental film – 3.5/5

Vikram Bhatt’s Shaapit marks the debut of Aditya Narayan. There is something really irritating about his face. Think that might easily lead to some fear factor. Lets check if it scared the critics or not.

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Horror films are meant to get your heart racing pumping. At the end of this film, you’ll have to check for your pulse – 1.5/5

Shubhra Gupta (IE) – Bhatt’s `1920’ gave us a ghastly ghost who hung upside down, and a couple of shivery moments. Practically nothing about `Shaapit’, which has the youngest looking debutant hero after Shahid Kapoor, is scary : not the bag of skeletons which floats around a 300 year old castle, not the wailing and the screeching, and the moaning and the groaning – 1/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, SHAAPIT is truly a scary movie, which comes across as a worthy follow up to RAAZ and 1920. If you are a fan of ghost stories, SHAAPIT should be on your list of ‘things to do and watch’ this weekend. Go for it and be prepared to be spooked! – 3.5/5

Gaurav Malani (Indiatimes) – You won’t curse yourself on watching Shaapit . But then again it’s not blessed with anything extraordinary – 2.5/5

Nithya Ramani (Rediff) – There are some genuinely frightening scenes that will make you jump off your seat. Those looking for chills won’t be disappointed – 4/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – The film works not so much due to its story. Rather, it’s the way Vikram Bhatt tells his story — with a certain polish and pizzazz — that draws you in. Also, it’s Pravin Bhatt’s multi-hued cinematography which adds a lyrical quality to the film – 3/5

And the third release of the week is Lahore. Directed by Sajay Puran Singh Chauhan, it stars Farooque Shaikh, Saurabh Shukla and Sushant Singh.

Shubhra Gupta (IE) – The recently-released `Invictus’ gave us the true story of how Nelson Mandela used rugby to cement ties between blacks and whites in post-apartheid South Africa. `Lahore’ uses another sport–kick-boxing– to suggest how India and Pakistan can come together, but to much less effect – 2/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – It’s well-intentioned, has its heart in the right place, and it’s an engaging enough watch. But it never rises above that to become a film that could truly make a difference – 2.5/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) Lahore is a decent effort, a sports film with a political backdrop, both genres being a relative rarity in Bollywood. However, if it had been 20 minutes shorter, with clearer purpose, less dialogue and tighter direction, Lahore could have been a good film – 2/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – It’s a film that could have done with less length and more effort to find a better lead. Fewer cliches too. But for anyone who likes the crunching of bones, the slam of fists into each other and the twisting of muscle, go right ahead. Make your day – 2.5/5

Sukanya Verma (Rediff) – Though limited in its story-telling and undistinguished in execution, Lahore redeems itself somewhat by intently playing on the paradox of pacifist intentions realised in the face of a seriously hostile sport – 2.5/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – Lahore tells a fiery story, gently and lyrically and is embellished with some great cinematography (Neelabh Kaul) and action choreography in the kickboxing sequences (Tony Ching Siu Tung). But most of all, it boasts of a stellar act by the performers with Farouque Sheikh walking away with most of your applause as the genteel Hyderabadi who must train a team of winners, despite political and bureaucratic interference – 3.5/5

Gaurav Malani (Indiatimes) – With a perfectly predictable plotline, if a film still keeps you riveted through its runtime, you know there’s something earnestly right about it. Lahore has a right director. Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan has the finesse to package the standard story with the requisite action and intensity that a sports film demands – 3/5

Roshmila Bhattacharya (HT) – Even though a Pakistani kickboxer has a hand to play, literally, in the story’s shocking turnaround, there’s no attempt to get into jingoistic spiel or whip up pop patriotism. So Pakistan’s decision to ban the film comes as a surprise. Lahore is not without its flaws but it still leaves you wanting to punch the air! – 3/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, LAHORE is a small little gem that takes you by surprise and catches you completely unaware. The finale in the boxing ring itself is worth the price of the ticket and more. I suggest, you make time for this one – 3.5/5 

Guess its not difficult to figure out whats the film to catch this weekend. Go dope! And if you can, do watch Umesh Kulkarni’s marathi film Vihir.

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 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.

This friday its Ringa Ringa at the movies. In both the films, its too much confusion over one phone call. Karthik Calling Karthik is directed by debutant Vijay Lalwani, stars Farhan Akhtar & Deepika Padukone and produced by Excel Entertainment. Lets see if actor Farhan manages to score a hattrick.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – Karthik Calling Karthik is inconsistent with its own internal logic. When you backtrack and see how the pieces fit, it doesn’t hang together. Eventually then, Karthik Calling Karthik feels like a vanity project for Farhan Akhtar, who is in every frame of the film. He’s compelling, especially in vulnerable loser mode, but he can’t add flesh to this sliver of a story. KCK isn’t a bad film but it isn’t very good either.  – 2.5/5

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – ‘Karthik Calling Karthik’ is actually two films. One, an office romance between a colourless drone and a beautiful colleague who notices him only when the boss lashes out at him in public. And the other about a guy who hears voices in his head and gets strange phonecalls from someone who claims to be him. Karthik calling Karthik, geddit? – 1/5

Sukanya Verma (Rediff) – Films like Karthik Calling Karthik are all about winding up right. This one fails to make a connect. Pity, it could have been that all important call you’ve always been waiting for – 2.5/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – KCK a decent product with an unconvincing conclusion. Watch it for the wonderful performances of Farhan and Deepika, if you have to. Caters to the youth in metros mainly – 2.5/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – One does wish there was a bit more of the bubbly Ms Padukone, though. Where it doesn’t work is the entertainment factor. The screenplay does tend to get a bit clunky and the drama somewhat heavy as the director looks for text book resolutions of the teasing problem. But, by and large, there is a thrill factor that keeps the momentum on. In the mood for serious cinema? Watch Karthik Calling Karthik – 3.5 /5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – The genre of course has its limitations. And someone who’s seen the film before, will inevitable blurt out, what the film’s deal was, or, ‘Who’s the caller’. As an audience, you’re not always two steps behind the script either. But that doesn’t take away from how the film holds you, almost all the way. This isn’t easy. I suspect you’re not going to love the sound of a ringing landline for a while. I hope you don’t question the workings of your brain as much – 3/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – In the end, Karthik Calling Karthik appears confused and half-baked, and it commits that deadly unforgivable cinematic sin – it bores you! – 2/5

Aniruddha Guha (DNA) – Farhan may have put in a good act – it’s his best, certainly, among just three films so far – and Deepika looks smoldering and performs well too. But that’s hardly reason enough to sit through this one. Unless you don’t mind thinking to yourself in the end, “THIS is what it was all about?!” – 2/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) – KCK is low on entertainment and remains a bit dark and dreary, so it’s entirely your call – 2/5

Teen Patti is directed by Leena Yadav (Shabd), Produced by Ambika Hinduja and stars Amitabh Bachchan, Ben Kingsley, R Madhavan, Raima Sen and a bunch of newcomers. Click here to our Twittereview review of the film.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – Teen Patti is a train-wreck of a movie. It’s incoherent, lengthy and worst of all, agonisingly pretentious. Director Leena Yadav takes the kernel of the story from the 2008 Hollywood film 21, about an MIT professor and his students who figure out how to count cards and make millions at casinos in Las Vegas – 1.5/5

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – The trouble with `Teen Patti’ is not that we’re all too familiar with its central idea. It lies in the patchy way the plot is laid out, and in the characters who do not, at any point, feel completely filled out. In too many places, the design is allowed to scream for attention, overwhelming the people, and the action, such as there is – 2/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Directed by Leena Yadav, Teen Patti is an incoherent mess of logic-defying scenes that never come together as a fluid script. It’s got snazzy camerawork and occasionally hip production design, but none of that matters in the end. What you take with you as you leave the cinema is shock. Shock that nobody associated with this film had the intelligence or the courage to turn around and say, “This sucks.” – 1/5

Preeti Arora (Rediff) – Three decades after Gandhi, Ben Kingsley still weaves magic for the Indian audiences. As Kingsley and Bachchan share their life experiences, there is the sheer pleasure of watching two legends share screen space. And since there is no attempt to overshadow the other, the experience is memorable. It’s difficult to visualise other actors in these roles. Teen Patti is worth a watch just for these actors – 2.5/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, Teen Patti is a fresh concept for Indian viewers, made well, but limits itself to the intelligentsia and big city audiences mainly – 2.5/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – No kidding. This is the most elegantly lit (cinematographer Aseem Bajaj) rendition of pure gibberish that I’ve seen in a while. The filmmakers profess they came up with this script before the Kevin Spacey starrer 21 came into the theatres. Given this flick, you couldn’t care less for its alleged inspiration – 1/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – The second half does get somewhat repetitive, with the film refusing to move out of the gambling dens and the climax gets somewhat hurried. But majorly, the film holds as a taut thriller that keeps you glued for most of the screen time. Watch out for Sunidhi Chauhan’s item number, Teri Neeyat Kharab Hai. It rocks – 3.5/5 

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror)Teen Patti is a slick and stylish film with many stars, fancy styling, big budget but little substance and very convoluted logic. Part of the film is in English, part of it is in algebra and the rest seems gobbledygook – 2/5

Will update the list with more reviews as soon as its out. So, wondering what to watch this friday ? Bet its better to go for hollywood releases.