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.