Posts Tagged ‘Minty Tejpal’

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, its the attack of the Pindharis! Anil Gadar Sharma returns with Veer starring Salman Khan, Zarine Khan, Mithun Chakraborty, Sohail Khan and Jackie Shroff. The story is by Salman Khan. Beat this!

Here are some early reviews which suggests that Veer belongs to that rare dud tribe who die on their birthday! Born to die friday Species.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – The best thing about Veer is that it is comic book cinema no pretensions. Without a trace of embarrassment or apology, Sharma goes full throttle on speeches to the motherland, honour, mardangi. And as Manmohan Desai told us decades ago: Mard ko dard nahin hota, so Veer snarls and slices through men without pausing for breath – 2.5/5

Raja Sen (Rediff) – The son of a legendary hero grows up and attempts to follow in his father’s footsteps, however bloodthirsty this road may be. It is standard Bollywood cliche, but Salim Khan, one of our most iconic screenwriters, deserves a better tribute than son Salman, credited for the film’s story, churning out this unbelievably hackneyed period disaster – 1/5

Gaurav Malani (ET) – Salman Khan gives a powerful performance in real sense. He is so prominent in the film that not even his brother Sohail Khan gets one consolation scene. Mithun Chakravarthy is the only one who stands on his own other than Salman Khan. Zarine Khan is a replica of Katrina Kaif and using the same dubbing artist adds to the analogy. Lisa Lazarus is absolutely wasted in a 2 scene role. Jackie Shroff is repetitive in his villainous act. You have to be a braveheart to watch Veer – 2/5

Shubhra Gupta (India Express) – Salman is the last Khan standing. It makes not a whit of difference to him and his directors that the space for retrofitted 70s packages has shrunk to nothing : Salman, In and As Veer, defiantly dances, romances, and bests his enemies in combat— hand-to-bare hand, and because `Veer’ is allegedly a period film, sword-to-clanging sword – 2/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – VEER drives home a few hard facts…No amount of gloss can substitute for an engaging story. Not all directors are capable of pulling off a period film. No star – howsoever strong his rankings are – can infuse life in a comatose script – 1/5

Khalid Mohamed (PFC) – A battle’s on, followed by much prattle. How they rattle on about the British Raj and a desert-principality presided over by a king, mostly garbed in outfits which are crow-black. Quite tack. In effect, then, Veer is a waste or resources, talent and of course, our time..and ticket money – 2/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Even if you’re willing to forgive all the historical inaccuracies and the complete disregard for detail, Veer starring Salman Khan, is still an impossible film to appreciate.Unacceptable in these times. From Cameron’s Pandora to Anil Sharma’s Pindhari, we’ve come a long way baby – 2/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – Now no one’s doubting the fact that Salman Khan’s a thoroughbred veer. For, it does take a whole lot of bravado to pick up a blast from the buried past and present it an age when everyone is determined to tell a brand new story in Bollywood. Of course, films like Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar did manage to strike a chord with the newbie viewers too, but they were more like exceptions to the rule. By and large, the scheming Brits and their grab-India story has been confined to the creative bin when it comes to modern Indian cinema, song and literature – 2.5/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – It belongs more to Bollywood of back in the day: a song designated for smokers every few minutes; crispness, hardly a narrative virtue; three hours, the accepted clock-time. And yet in trying so hard to win acclaim and scale, the film goes all over the place – *Gladiator, Troy, Braveheart* – complicating matters for its easy viewers – 1.5/5

Minty Tejpal ( Mumbai Mirror) – Veer is a very, very terrible film, which has lots of thudding hoofs, bloodstained swords, chopped-off heads plus brawny men hooting and fighting. What Veer doesn’t have is any kind of a script or a director, forget about any other related sense or sensibility. The film is a brutal assault on all your senses, with lousy direction constantly competing with mediocre acting struggling with a garbled period story, and one has to indeed be very ‘veer’ not to cry and run away in sheer fright – 1/5

Seems like Veer is already headed for Veer-gati!

The big release of this friday is Kurbaan. Produced by Karan Johar, directed by Rensil D’ Silva and starring Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Vivek Oberoi. And here is the score card…

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – The film has ambition but it is too flawed and simplistic to explore issues like religion, violence and the politics of terrorism with any conviction or gravitas – 2.5/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, KURBAAN is the most powerful film to come out of the Hindi film industry in 2009, so far. The film has a captivating plot, gripping screenplay, super performances and a climax that shakes you up completely. Watching this movie should be on top of your agenda this week – 4/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Stripped to its bone, Rensil D’silva’s Kurbaan is an edge-of-the-seat thriller that seldom loses its grip on your attention. Credible performances from its leads, and a nail-biting screenplay make up for the plot holes that threaten to eat into this otherwise engaging film – 3/5

Khalid Mohamed (PFC) – In effect, then, Kurbaan is the sort of film that doesn’t have a clue about the complex subject it is dealing with. It set my teeth on edge. And ha ha , not only because it is revealed at the end that the real name of Saif Ali Khan’s terrorist happens to be Khalid. Thanks Karan, Rensil..I’d just like to see how you guys would respond if your names were used for heinous criminals on screen. Or even in graffiti. Try it – 1.5/5

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – It’s not as if the director has refused to make concessions to the starry status of his lead couple, with Kareena displaying a daringly naked back, and Saif showcasing a bare brawny torso, the bloody rivulets just so. Or that D’Silva doesn’t fall into the self-indulgent trap all debutants do, to keep it too long: the second half drags, and the last half-hour telegraphs its punches. But you overlook these because, at its core, ‘Kurbaan’ has power and resonance – 3/5

Nikhat Kazmi(TOI) – Kurbaan sure does strike a chord and sets you thinking on stuff that needs to be sorted out before the new world order – a more humanitarian, less violent – sets in. Don’t miss it – 3.5/5 ( BTW, this review deserves a separte post. Why and how ? Coming soon)

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) – Despite a difficult subject that deals with terrorism and Islam, the director gets the tone and pitch of the film just right, a tricky art to pull off in a purely commercial space. While the recent New York was more flamboyant in its approach, Kurbaan is textured and well-measured – 3/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – What you may brave through then is a flick neither real or serious enough to be a meditation on global terror, nor sweetly suspended and adequately brain-dead to be Die Hard. It’s hard to be both. The hardship shows.

Chandrima Pal (Rediff) – Go watch Kurbaan, explore it, find your own points to agree, disagree, endorse, enjoy, debate and be angry about. Either way, you definitely cannot walk out without the film leaving an impression on you. And a strong one at that – 3.5/5 

Gaurav Malani (ET) – Kurbaan, noticeably, is set on the same plot of New York – the pun involves both the city and the cinema. And while in any other case this could have been a setback for the ulterior release, Karan Johar’s film, on the contrary, scores for being a more convincing and compelling version of the Yash Raj production that released few months back – 3/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – Welcome to the world of Islamic terror. Where blood flows artistically, a rich red, slowly and steadily; where love is the perfect antidote; where FBI agents are heroes; where sleeper cells operate out of racially stereotyped neighbourhoods amidst kebabs and biryani; and where the Koran is discussed over coffee and chai – 2/5

Priya Ramani (Livemint) – Before this movie I believed that New York was to Karan Johar what Switzerland was to Yash Chopra. Why would he make such an offensive film about his favourite city? Bas karo yeh meaningful cinema. Please give us a Kuch Kuch Hota Hai again.

Aniruddha Guha (DNA) – You are not quite sure after watching Kurbaan what exactly the motive behind making the film is. Was it designed to be a thriller? Then, in the almost 2hrs and 40minutes of its running time, it’s too long and dips at various points to be able to thrill you enough. Was it supposed to be a love story? Then it fails on that count because the ‘lovers’ in the film come across as shallow. Was the film supposed to be a comment on global terrorism? Then it’s a haphazard one, raising questions (old ones at that) and not bothering to give any answers – 2/5

Lil late on reviews this week. Only because we were not interested in any of the two hindi releases of the week. Tum Mile is from Bhaat Factory, directed by Kunal Deshmukh and stars Emraan Hashmi and Soha Ali Khan. And here is the report card.

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, TUM MILE caters to the youth mainly. At the box-office, the Vishesh Films – Emraan Hashmi combo has cultivated a strong fan-base over the years and coupled with good music, which is also very popular, the film should find itself in the comfortable zone – 3/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – You may survive the floods, but Emraan and Soha’s bak-bak will most certainly kill you! – 1.5/5

Gaurav Malani (ET) – Tum Mile might be dilute on the deluge but concentrates on having its heart in the right place. Watch it as a disaster flick and you will find it disastrous. Watch it as a love story and you will love it – 3/5

Khalid Mohamed (PFC) – To the immense credit of director Kunal Deshmukh, he shoots it with such sensitivity and grace, that you’re convinced that he’s an underrated director. Both Deshmukh and Mohit Suri (Woh Lamhe) from the Mahesh-Mukesh Bhatt factory are excellent technicians, and deserve to be in the A-list of mainstream directors – 3/5

Rediff (Sukanya Varma ) – Ultimately, though, Tum Mile’s true strength lies in the combined appeal and compelling performances of Emraan and Soha. Awe-inspiring it is not but engaging? By all means – 3/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – Alongside posters and promos of 2012, this reel or two was meant to be cinema about a shaking catastrophe. You realise, while the romance and its conflicts are short-lived, this is not a disaster film at all. I mean this as much for its genre as hopefully its fate among the public – 2/5

Anupama Chopra(NDTV) – The film strains for poignancy as the lovers realise that life is too short but their epiphany is more tedious than moving – 2/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – What really stands out in the film is the acting. Emraan and Soha create a chemistry that is brimming over with warmth and remains quite unpredictable till the very end. Their conversations — and concerns — are straight out of real life – 3.5 / 5

Minty Tejpal(Mumbai Mirror) – Emraan is fairly intense in his performance, while Soha is quite spunky, but together they are a bit flat. The music is fairly melodious, though there are no tracks that really jump out. However, the film is worth watching on a rainy day. Just don’t expect to be swept away – 2/5

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – Hashmi and Khan have a good fit, though, and their lovers’ tiffs feel real: Deshmukh has an ear for dialogue and gets his leads to spar in believable ways, especially when Hashmi behaves like a spoilt brat artist, and she an unrelenting career girl. Pity about the lax climax – 2/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – All the drama is in the breaking up and making up between Emraan and Soha and though both have put in likeable performances-Soha even foregoing make-up for it-it is too much water, too late and too limp – 2.5/5

Anand Vaishanv ( Buzz18) – While the disaster angle is clearly a gimmick. And the lovers could very well have sorted out their differences on a station or an airport lounge, the film is engagingly shot. Tum Mile is eventually just another love story punctuated with some 26/7 sequences. Watch it only if you are a die hard Emraan Hashmi fan – 2/5

The other release of the week is Aao Wish Karein stars Aftab Shivdasani and Aamna Shariff. Its directed by Glenn Baretto and is Aftab’s home production. And did we tell its written also by Aftab! Aur bolo!

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – Week after week, critics lament the lack of original work in Bollywood. But after watching Aao Wish Karein, an agonizingly boring rework of Tom Hanks’ Big, I wished that the makers had been less original and copied more diligently – 0.5/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, AAO WISH KAREIN is engaging in parts, but how one wishes the film would grab your attention in entirety. The wish of striking a chord and hence, succeeding at the box-office won’t come true for this reason – 1.5/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Far from achieving the fairytale feel it was going for, Aao Wish Karein is a colossally boring film that packs clunky dialogue, a predictable narrative and a muddled message in the end. Barring a few superb songs, this film is a miscalculation on all counts – 1/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) – Yup, the same Big story, only Aftab is no Tom Hanks, and the less said about the direction the better. However, in good old Bollywood style, it’s the ending that’s the real double whammy. Go watch it if you wish – 1.5/5

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – Good proposition for kids, and adults, to buy in. But `Aao Wish Karein’ falls in between two stools, and becomes a film which appeals strongly to neither – 1/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – Obviously inspired by Tom Hanks 1988 classic (Big) that was nominated for two Oscars, the film lacks all the masala that made Penny Marshal’s film such a winsome experience. Also, the romance between Aftab and Aamna is quite thanda. Thoda aur wish karein? – 2/5

 

Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab KahaniIts that day of the week which we love the most! Filmy Friday! This week there are two new hindi releases – Ajab Prem Ki Ghajab Kahani (APKGK) and Jail. Or as they are saying, its Ranbir Kapoor VS Neil Nitin Mukesh, now that Imran Khan is miles and miles behind!

APKGK is directed by Raj Kumar Santoshi and stars Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. And here are the early reviews…

Taran Adarsh(Indiafm) – On the whole, APKGK entertains majorly. At the box-office, the fantastic pre-release campaign coupled with the terrific chemistry between Ranbir and Katrina, excellent music by Pritam and tremendous appeal for youth should ensure a big start for the film at the ticket window – 4/5

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani, a comedy set in a comic book universe, is a frustratingly uneven film. Some of it is genuinely funny and delightful and some of it is repetitive, and annoyingly tedious – 3/5

Raja Sen (Rediff) -Honestly, it’s just good to watch a film with memorable comedy again. Heaven knows its been a while. And one that takes us back to a different, more wholesome kind of cinema. Even as the climax drags into predictability, Santoshi ensures that even divine intervention — to pull it all back on track again — comes with laughs. Gotta love that – 3.5/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – You look through this hollowness, and sense there is not a comic bone at all. There is certainly no romance either. Good boy (Ranbir Kapoor) fumbles and chases good girl (Kaif) through multiply tiring sequences. Saawariya for a debut was a poor practical joke on young Kapoor. This humourlessness, if at all, is infinitely sappier.

Gaurav Malani(Indiatimes) – The one thing you can’t overlook noticing in Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani is how Rajkumar Santoshi takes liberal references from every popular prem kahani of Bollywood and ends up with an ajeeb (weird) jumbled screenplay – 2/5

Nikhat Kazmi(TOI) – Gazab comedy, this one. Really, Ranbir is a revelation, Katrina is full of beans and the newly formented Ranbir-Katrina chemistry sets the screen on fire in this mad hatter’s tea party that takes you on a roller-coaster ride as Raj Kumar Santoshi tries to retrack his way to his Andaz Apna Apna days – 4/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Despite its hiccups, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani is not an entirely unwatchable film, and the credit for that goes squarely to its leads who invest sincerity and genuine enthusiasm while attacking their roles. Katrina Kaif breezes through her scenes, endearing you to the vulnerable Jenny; striking up a radiant chemistry with her co-star. As for Ranbir Kapoor, he is the brightest spot in this ordinary film, rising above the script’s many holes, occasionally even making the stupidity work – 2.5/5

Khalid Mohamed (PFC) – The kid’s brilliant. So watch it Hrithik Roshan, Shahid Kapoor and all the big and small Khans. At the rate he’s going – by sheer evidence of his screen charisma, technical felicity and youth power – Ranbir Kapoor is more than likely to be the Next Best Thing, if he isn’t one already. He’s RK Jr and he’s more than super A-Ok -2.5/5

Shubhra Gupta(Indian Express) – Once upon a time, Rajkumar Santoshi made a lovely little film which was all fun and games. ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ (1994), which came at a time when neither Aamir nor Salman were Superstars Inc., has traveled well—its unfettered joyousness delights at every fresh viewing. The same cannot be said for Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani – 1/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – The movie sails because of Kapoor’s effortless ease. He dances like a dream, looks good enough to take your eyes off Kaif, and raises a lot of laughs with his goofiness. And guess what, he looks pretty in pink too. Ad he has a memorable no sorry, no thank you dialogie as well: all he wants is to be Kaif’s friend, no complaints, no demands. This one, ladies and gentlemen, is a stayer. See you around, Ranbir – 3/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) – For the most part of the film, you do drool, mostly over the totally delicious lead pair, and often enough over the ridiculous dialogue in this absurd, mad comedy being played out on screen. Ha ha and a hoot. In fact, the first half of the film just rocks all the way – 3.5/5

Anand Vaishanav (Buzz18) – With such a gorgeous pair, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, could have been a charming joyride. But instead it settles for a routine, time pass watch. Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif’s chemistry shines long after the curtains fall down – 2.5/5

Jail is directed by Madhur Bhandarkar and stars Neil Nitin Mukesh,  Mugdha Godse and Manoj Bajpai.

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Because it’s well-intentioned and settles for a hopeful message, you stay with the film despite the fact that it’s never quite compelling. It’s got its heart in the right place, but sometimes that’s not enough – 2.5 /5

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – Bhandarkar’s cinema has often been called hard-hitting but the trouble with Jail is that it simply doesn’t hit hard enough. See it if you must – 2.5/5

Taran Adarsh(Indiafm) – On the whole, JAIL is a well-made film from an expert storyteller. At the box-office, the film will appeal to those with an appetite for hard-hitting, realistic fares, but its clash with APKGK will affect its business to an extent – 3/5 

Khalid Mohamed (PFC) – Okay, okay, for heaven’s sake this is a Bhandarkar, Madhur Bhandarkar movie. Get real, appreciate Jail for being as rough, real and dammit, outspoken. Sorry guys, want to..however it’s anything but. It’s just not in the league of the eye-opening Fashion, Traffic Signal, Page 3 and Chandni Bar, which have their loyal admirers including the National Film Award juries. Yeah – 2/5 (there’s nothing here that you don’t know or haven’t seen already)

Raja Sen(Rediff) – The detailing is shoddy, the characters cardboard and the dialogue plain laughable. Jail is a formulaic, below average Bollywood headache, slowed down to lugubrious dullness. Groan. Leave it be, this prison of cardboard and cliche. We all deserve better – 1/5

Mayank Shekhar (HT) – What we may have liked to know, like with any story, is something more about the hero himself — his past, his conflicts, his shattered dreams. It could’ve greatly helped with the sorely missed empathy. But that’s not to be. I guess, only in a film-culture as less evolved as ours, would a movie with merely a setting, pride itself so much on realism alone – 2/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – There’s a sense that we’re sitting in on a reality show, that it’s Bigg Boss Season 4 set inside a jail. You find yourself wishing Mukesh’s ordeal ends, not so much for him as for you. Hey Mr Bhandarkar, it’s time to think of a new formula, or choose a subject that thrills like Fashion- 2/5

Gaurav Malani(Indiatimes) – Compare Jail to Madhur Bhandarkar’s earlier works and you would be disappointed to a degree. Nevertheless, compare it to many other mediocre movies of today and Jail is still a step ahead. Jail is captivating but not consistently – 2.5/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) – The movie itself is more like a well-researched documentary that teaches you a few new things about life in jail, so it’s pretty instructive for anyone planning on landing up there. The promos of Jail read, ‘sentenced on November 6’. Yes, ‘sentenced’ is right – 2/5

Shweta Parande(Buzz18) – If the film works, it will only be because of Madhur’s execution. Otherwise, Jail has nothing new to offer – 2/5

aladin webpageIts filmy friday and two big releases this week. Aladin & London Dreams. Aladin is directed by Sujoy Ghosh, produced by Eros Entertainment, and stars Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Ritesh Deshmukh and Jacqueline Fernandez. Some early reviews are out and it looks like a mixed one.

Taran Adarsh(Indiafm) – On the whole, ALADIN is a terrible waste of a terrific opportunity. Hugely disappointing! – 1 / 5

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – But all their enthusiasm and special effects wizardry is let down by the half-baked story. Aladin never soars. See it if you must – 3/5

Chandrima Pal (Rediff) – What Ghosh dishes out in its place is some half-hearted hocus-pocus, a clumsy mix of old world lore with contemporary indifference, sloppy trips to the flashback and awkward bursts of forced sentimentality. Make a wish, Genius insists. Too late for that, isn’t it? – 2/5

Gaurav Malani (Indiatimes) – Just in case a Genie ever emerges out from your lamp, wish for once that our filmmakers come up with better ‘bound scripts’ and more enthralling adaptations. Till then all flights of fantasy should go on strike – 2/5

Udita Jhunjhunwala (DNA) – You are left wondering who films like this will appeal to. They are not amazing enough for adults or fun enough for kids. If I had a magic lamp, I would use one wish to ask for some decent, sincere films, the kind Ghosh made once upon a time (Jhankaar Beats) – 2/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – Few films encourage you to free your mind and unleash your imagination. Say what you will about the Amitabh Bachchan-Ritesh Deshmukh starrer Aladin, but you cannot complain that you’ve seen this kind of Hindi film before – 3/5

Anand Vaishnav(Buzz18) – Ghosh’s setting is neither magical enough for a fantasy nor identifiable enough to be real. It’s too confusing for kids and adults alike. Except for a few laugh early on and Bachchan’s stand out act, Aladin is another addition to Bollywood’s failed attempts at fantasy – 1.5/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – To sum up with the refrain (Aladin, Aladin, kahan hai tera jinn) of the film: Aladin, Aladin, kahan hai tera sheen? Truly, a big let down from director Sujoy Ghosh who lost both his jhankar and his beats after ‘Home Delivery’ and ‘Aladin’, his films following a scintillating debut with ‘Jhankar Beats’ – 2/5

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – Aladdin’ proves just one thing: Indian filmmakers should stay strictly away from the fantasy genre. The magical mystery tour that this film is meant to be falls way short of its target – 1/ 5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) – Aladin is a good example of how to take a beautiful fairy tale, and proceed to fairly destroy it. Since we all know the timeless story, director Sujoy Ghosh decides to give us his own special updated version, starting from the revamped genie – 1/ 5

Mayank Shekhar (Hindustan Times) – At 65, his(Bachchan) on-screen presence is likely to get scarcer with age. Audiences are still interested in his work. If only he wouldn’t green-light unbelievable, hollow, expensive rubbish that’d be pelted on us merely because, he said yes – 1/5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – Why has the Genie chosen Aladin to save the world from the hands of Sanjay Dutt, the Ringmaster? What will happen when the comet crashes into Khwaish? And will Genie get his wish and head off to retirement, to wear his blingy jackets and do the disco? Yes, all is revealed in the end, but by then we’ve had too much of Mr Muscular (Sahil Khan) and Ms Great Legs (Fernandez) – 2/5

So, why are critics giving bad reviews to Aladin ? Our theory – Because they took Sanjay Dutt too seriously who said…Buri aadat badal daalo, Aladin ko maar dalo!

London DreamsThe other big release is London Dreams directed by Vipul Shah, and stars Salman Khan, Ajay Devgan & Music. And from the early reviews it looks & feels like Gujju Rock On!

Taran Adarsh(Indiafm) – On the whole, LONDON DREAMS has superb performances from its principal cast and several emotionally-charged sequences as its two trump cards. But its biggest drawback is its climax and also the music, which is the weakest link of the movie – 3 / 5

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – Most of us don’t watch Hindi films for their verisimilitude but honestly, how much disbelief can a viewer suspend. There are a few nice songs here and occasional moments of charm provided by Salman Khan, who once again, plays a variation of Salman Khan. Otherwise London Dreams is as much fun as a stuck record. See if it you must – 2/5

Anand Vaishnav (Buzz18) – Eventually London Dreams is all about the joy of watching Salman and Ajay’s chemistry. Their star power makes up for all the flaws. Both have put their heart and soul into the film, delivering powerhouse, career defining performances – 3.5 / 5

Chandrima Pal (Rediff) – You may like London Dreams for its beautiful frames, some paisa-vasool moments between Salman and Devgn, a good background score and catchy songs. For the rest, you need willing suspension of disbelief. And large doses of it – 2.5/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN IBN) – London Dreams, directed by Vipul Shah, is a frustratingly foolish film about foolish people. It’s the kind of film whose central conflict could be instantly resolved if the characters concerned simply sat down and had a chat – 2 / 5

Khalid Mohamed(Khalidsspot) – With all its mad flaws and inadequacies, Shah’s enterprise still sees him going beyond the klutzy rishtas and pishtas. If you think that’s sufficient reason to buy a ticket , check out this London Whippy Whippy Shake – 2 / 5

Shubhra Gupta (Indian Express) – With his latest film, Vipul Amrutlal Shah goes back to familiar territory : Punjabi ‘munda’ in London town, all set to conquer the world. Akshay Kumar did it wonderfully in ‘Namaste London’. This time around, it is Ajay Devgn’s turn, accompanied by partner-in-crime Salman Khan, but the two-for-the-price-of-one isn’t as much of a success – 2/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Miror) – At the end, London Dreams is worth a watch, though it could have been far better – 2 /5

Mayank Shekhar (Hindustan Times) – This is how hinterland ticket-holders would like to see both.Don’t worry about the story-line. There is no writing, merely good locations and great lighting; wouldn’t shock me if it sort of lit up the producer’s balance sheet as well. Well – 1.5 / 5

Kaveree Bamzai (India Today) – Imagine Rock On!! in Punjabi with stereophonic emotional drama? Can’t? Well that’s London Dreams, where two best friends fall apart over a girl and their music. Now where have we seen this before? Yes, yes, everywhere. But Vipul Shah’s forte has never been originality. It has been energy and joie de vivre, which the film has in plenty. Almost enough to save it. Almost – 2.5/5

Our take – We think if they had gone to the stage with dandiya sticks instead of drum sticks it would have been good fun!

Forget the biggies, we are going to MAMI Film Festival this weekend!

Its diwali time! And though there is no SRK release this diwali but there are three big releases. And all multi starrer films. We are yet not tempted to watch any of the three but lets see who scores how much. The early reviews…

BlueBlue, the 100 crore film directed by debutant Anthony D’Souza stars Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt, Lara Dutt and Zayed Khan.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV) – Clearly Anthony D’Souza has ambition. He set out to give Indian audiences a new type of exotic thriller. But he got so busy orchestrating the king-sized stars, the equally big sharks and the blinding bling of the film that he forgot the basic connective tissue: the script. Blue is all washed up. See it if you must – 2/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN-IBN) – Blue, directed by Anthony D’souza is a brainless, forgettable action-thriller that quickly sinks without a trace. Let me say this right away: anyone expecting anything other than the sight of Lara Dutta in a skimpy bikini, or indeed Akshay Kumar with his shirt off, is going to be very disappointed – 1.5/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) – This one could turn out to be as big a disaster as the Titanic. By Titanic, I mean the actual ship that sank, not the film that soared to the sky. Industry reports say that Blue cost over Rs 120 crores to produce and it seems that none of that fancy moolah went into script development. A large amount must have gone towards singer Kylie Minogue, whose appearance is a mere marketing gimmick  – 1 / 5

Chandrima Pal (Rediff) – Blue was supposed to be a thriller. But if you made Captain Haddock of Tintin fame watch it, I am sure he would exclaim : Blue blistering barnacles! – 2/5

Jaya Biswas (Buzz18)Blue could have been much more shorter. Come on, audience would rather watch all about the marine life on NatGeo or Animal Planet. Feeling blue? – 1.5/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, BLUE has style as well as substance. The film has everything going in its favour, right from its incredible star cast to the superb action scenes to the hitherto unseen marine life to the tremendous hype and hoopla. At the box-office, BLUE will strike like a hurricane in the festive week – 4/5

Khalid Mohamed (PFC) – Blue is one bloomer of a movie. Don’t even think of all the crores spent on this kiddish enterprise. That’ll just leave you with one helluva sinking feeling – 1/5 and that’s being generous.

Gaurav Malani (ET) – Blue doesn’t glue you to the seat. Rather its corniness can make you see red – 2/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – Amongst the lead players, Sanjay looks a bit out of shape, Zayed is fresh and adequate, while Akshay keeps you guessing about his ethical moorings. The girls, Lara and Katrina, sashay down the screen with aplomb, adding the requisite oomph in this high-on-visuals drama. Go, feast your eyes on brawn and cheesecake – 3.5 / 5

It seems Blue is going to make you feel blue this diwali!

All the BestThe other big release of the week is All The Best directed by Rohit Shetty (Golmaal, Golmaal Returns) and stars Ajay Devgan, Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu, Fardeen Khan and Mugdha Godse.

Anupama Chopra (NDTV)All the Best is gleefully and unpretentiously moronic. I know film critics should set the bar higher but honestly, this is probably the most fun you’ll have in a theater this weekend. Go for It – 3/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, ALL THE BEST is fun and laughter unlimited. At the box-office, the festive period coupled with the solid track record of Ajay Devgn and Rohit Shetty and also the strong merits will ensure ample footfalls at cineplexes, making its investors laugh all the way to the bank. Recommended! – 3.5/5 

Rajeev Masand (CNN-IBN) – Tucked away beneath those pointless songs and some ridiculous, overblown action scenes is a silly yet surprisingly enjoyable tale of misunderstandings and mistaken identities. Like most Bollywood comedies these days, All The Best is far too long, but it has a winning combination of cleverly crude humour and genuine sweetness – 3/5

Khalid Mohamed (Khalid’s Spot) – To be sure there are sight-`n’-sound gags which do pay off in Rohit Shetty’s All the Best, adapted from Paritosh Painter’s stageplay Uncle Samjha Karo, which itself was cadged from the 1960s farce Right Bed, Wrong Husband. Add to that a touch of Come September (1961) and you’re likely to gobble down one helluva fusion cuisine mishmash. Hang on though. In fact, the yay-yay news is that the result is digestible, perfect for a couple of laughs, a few titters and a haw-haw bellylaugh. Hyuk nyuk – 2.5 / 5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) – Once you are in the stupid comedy zone, story or logic becomes irrelevant, while the main idea is to be as foolish as possible, in which endeavour this film succeeds. What fun it must be cooking up these stories – 3/5

Nikhat Kazmi (TOI) – By far, this one’s not a rip-roaring comedy, but does make-do for some Diwali masti – 3/5

Parmita Uniyal (Hindustan Times) – Overall, if your doctor has advised you laughter therapy, then go watch All the Best. Ingredients of the medicine? Hilarious moments, rib-tickling dialogues, crisp editing, mind boggling situations, minus double meaning dialogues this time – 3/5 

Anand Vaishnav (Buzz18) – Despite a shaky start, All The Best works well as a comedy. It’s a clean sitcom packed with clever punches and witty one liners. This one’s for the entire family during the festive season – 3/5

Gaurav Malani (Indiatimes) – Supposedly based on an American play Right Bed Wrong Husband , Rohit Shetty’s All The Best is modeled as a comedy of mistaken identities finding its desi -siblings in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Chukpe Chupke and Anees Bazmee’s No Entry . Though not as simple as the former or smart as latter, the comedy still clicks with its unstable blend of story, style, sense, slapstick and stunts – 3/5

Main Aur Mrs KhannaAnd the third one is Main Aur Mrs Khanna by debutant Prem Soni, starring Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Sohail Khan.

NDTV (Anupama Chopra) – Not surprisingly, the film sinks like a stone. Much of the action in Main Aur Mrs Khanna takes place at the airport. But thats not the only reason you will feel like you are stuck in transit. Steer clear – 1.5/5

Rajeev Masand (CNN-IBN)Main Aurr Mrs Khanna is what they call a “home production” in Bollywood slang. It’s the kind of film a star agrees to do in exchange for a fat salary that pays for his or her dream home. When the deal is so good, you don’t raise questions about the script – 1/5

Taran Adarsh (Indiafm) – On the whole, MAIN AURR MRS. KHANNA is weak in merits. At the box-office, the BLUE wave, followed by another strong opposition in ALL THE BEST will sideline MAIN AURR MRS. KHANNA completely. It’s a non-starter – 1.5 / 5 

Rediff – We wonder what made Salman say yes to Prem Soni’s directorial debut when he had already done a film on a similar topic in Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar. Surely it’s not to revive his brother Sohail’s (he is the producer of MAMK) flagging career ? Well, whatever the reason, don’t hold your breath : Main Aur Mrs Khanna is a failed attempt – 1.5/5

Minty Tejpal (Mumbai Mirror) – What a slow, strange, boring film which starts with nothing and then gratingly proceeds to go nowhere. Directed by a debutante, Main Aurr Mrs Khanna is like a little moral fable that could well have been summed up in a simple greeting card. They sure as hell didn’t need the entire movie, and certainly not stars like Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor.Did either of them even read the script before signing on, or was it all for brother Sohail Khan? – 1 / 5

Suranjana Nandy (Buzz18)Main Aurr Mrs Khanna is not entertaining in the accepted sense of the word. But it’s a neat little film which teaches a lot about life. It’s not fun, it’s meaningful. It definitely isn’t Oscar material, but it (and I’ll use this much abused phrase here) has its heart in the right place – 3/5

Nikhat Kazmi ( TOI) – For, Main aurr Mrs Khanna seems to have no passion at all. Neither love, nor anger, nor pain, nor envy. In an attempt to create a low key drama, debutant director, Prem Soni divests his film of all energy. Truly, this must be Kareena’s most thanda performance which fails to strike a single chord. So unlike the feisty actor! – 2 / 5

Huh! Looks like this diwali there is no fireworks ath the box office! We are dialling our video rental library. What are you doing ?