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Finding Fanny

Excellent change-up from the regular Bollywood fare
Watched this movie last night and enjoyed it completely. It is not too often that one finds a movie that is different from the standard Bollywood fare, with a cast of A-listers and is not an "art" movie. Finding Fanny truly demonstrates what our Bollywood actors (at least some of them) are capable of given the right script & director.

My salute to the director - Homi Adajania. I understand this is his second movie after Being Cyrus (which I did not see and perhaps I will try to find it now). He has managed to bring out the best in the cast. All through the movie, I enjoyed Pankaj Kapur's role the most and felt he had the best dialogs. He mannerism and way of saying "Madam" had me laughing and smiling. I still laugh when I remember his joke about the Second Coming or his references to Dimple's cat. Arjun Kapoor and Deepika Padukone have shown us another side of their acting skills that doesn't involve running around trees and capable of creating song lyrics at a moment's notice. Naseer sahib is always in a class of his own. Compare this role of his to some of his other movies e.g. A Wednesday and one can see the depth of his acting capabilities. Dimple Kapadia is wonderful - she is just as capable as most other stars. To this day, I wonder what it would have been if she had continued to act between Bobby & Saagar.

Finding Fanny is primarily about Ferdinand aka Ferdie (Naseeruddin Shah) getting a letter returned to him after 46 years. A letter he wrote to his one true love asking to marry him. Having never gotten a response from her, he decided to stay single - until the day this letter turns up at his door-step again. With the help of his friend Angie (Deepika Padukone), they decide to find Fanny (short for Stephanie) and seek out her answer. Joining them on this road trip are Mrs Eucharista (Dimple) who happens to be Deepika's mom-in-law, Don Pedro (Pankaj Kapur) the one with the car and Savio (Arjun Kapoor) as the only one in this group who can drive a car! It is just one day in their lives together on this road trip but feels like a life time spent with this odd bunch. Finding Fanny is not just about Ferdie trying to find Fanny & get her real answer but more about the different levels of relationships that exist in life and this "Fab 5" bring it alive on screen.

A touching story but told in a very humorous manner, Finding Fanny will have you laughing and smiling all through the movie. And for those reviews that ask you to "beware of this movie", ignore those warnings. Please.


A watchable movie - If you have a couple of hours to kill
Just finished watching this movie and found it a little different from the typical Bollywood fare. It has love & politics and relationships but no action sequences to determine which is better - love or politics. I imagine this would reverberate at least a little with the audience at the metro cities in India.

The movie is about the son of the PM who takes over as the PM upon the death of his father. And yes - one can see similarities between the actions of some real-life characters in the Indian political system (both past & present).

It seemed like the director had a lot of good ideas and wanted to try out all of them in the movie which leads to a pretty disjointed feeling as you go through the movie. Should the focus be on the political maneuvering skills, managing the "uniqueness" of his personal life or trying to charm "young India" with technology? The director has tried to address every possible scenario in the life of a PM which seemed a bit of an overkill. Considering the target audience, it would've been wiser to pick a main plot and build a few sub-plots around it but instead, this turned out to be a serious of parallel stories just moving along.

In addition, there are few good characters/actors who seemed wasted with just a few random scenes here & there - one of being Boman Irani Jr. I haven't seen him in any movie after Student of the Year and it was good to see him on screen again but sadly not enough meat in his role.

Jacky Bhagnani has done a fairly decent role as the young PM. But his lack of expressions makes the movie a little dull & dragging. Neha Sharma is there to act pretty and nothing more. Farooq Sheikh was of course the best of the lot. This was perhaps amongst his last few movies along with "Yeh Jawani.." Overall, watchable once for the slightly different theme it carries. I didn't watch it in a theater and so it wasn't a couple of waste of time. I watched it at home when I was doing other stuff and hence didn't really feel like I wasted my time!


Lovely comedy! Got to see this.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable comedy. And yes, this is a "what might have happened" type of movie, so please don't get your knickers in a twist as you watch how two teenage girls got involved in the Watergate scandal.

These girls are visiting the White House on a field trip and they end up meeting president Nixon because of taking a wrong turn in one of the corridors. They become official dog walkers and the president's "secret youth advisers". Without realizing it, these girls are deep into the Watergate scandal and they become a source for the two reporters who revealed it all.

I loved the way in which the script interleaves with actual events including the 18 1/2 minutes of blank tape - that was the best!!!

One of the other reviewers mentioned that it is best enjoyed if you are 35 or older and I am inclined to agree with that viewpoint. If you do not have an understanding of the Watergate scandal and it's impact on American politics, then you wouldn't enjoy this movie. To quote another reviewer, this is truly a "hidden gem". My actual rating for this is a 6.5.


Fairly decent thriller. One time watch.
I started watching this movie after a lot of hesitation but no regrets - for the most part.

The initial pace is a little slow until Vishal reaches Bangkok in search of his (ex) girl-friend. Soon after he gets attacked by what appears to be a mob-hit but gets rescued by another group. He is made to believe that he is a multi-millionaire which leaves him in a very confused state. A couple of days later he suddenly loses his multi-millionaire status. Along the way he meets Trisha and they fall in love.

The story begins to unfold and it turns out the whole thing is a setup. A reality show staged by 2 people (who have nothing else to do in life!!) The rest of the movie is all about how Vishal deals with all the confusion around him.

The overall concept and story is quite new to Tamil cinema & I enjoyed it.

Here is what I didn't like (enjoy):

1. Over the top acting by JD Chakravarthy & Manoj Bajpai 2. Too much explaining of the story (please learn from Steven Soderbergh in the Oceans 11/12/13 series) 3. The ending turned out to be a bit short-lived. Would've been better if the background story of the bad guys was incorporated into the climax. 4. What was the need to have a fight sequence between JD/Manoj & Vishal?

Overall - worth a one time watch.


Excellent biopic of Veerappan! A must-watch!!
This movie is a fantastic biopic of Veerappan - the sandalwood smuggler/forest brigand etc who was holed up in the forests connecting Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka for over 20 years.

The movie starts with his origins as one who worked as a henchman killing elephants for their ivory tusks and later branches into sandalwood smuggling and builds his own gang.

The director has spent a good amount of time in the initial stages to show Veerappan's growth which started off by killing various forest officers and went all the way to the kidnapping of the famous Kannada star Rajkumar. Suresh Oberoi has done a really good impression of Rajkumar excepting the nose :).

Only later is Arjun brought into the picture as the DGP Vijay Kumar appointed to head the STF (Special Task Force). The story then moves to the efforts take by the DGP towards building an intelligence network, spies, sending undercover officers etc.

Quite obviously it is not possible to shrink 20 years in a 2 hour movie but kudos to the director for managing to do this in a commendable manner. The story builds at a steady pace and again, movies like demonstrate that you don't need those item numbers and song-dance sequences for a movie to succeed.

There is obviously a lot of research that has gone into this movie and that is shown in the end credits. Kishore has done a fantastic job of Veerappan. It is not just the famous mustache but the overall appearance. The rest of the cast has also be chosen well. But given that this is about Veerappan, Kishore carries the entire movie without a hitch.


Do not think of the original when watching this movie - that is the only way to enjoy it
Don't make the mistake of comparing it to the original Zanjeer. That is perhaps the biggest reason this movie didn't do well in the BO (I am assuming it didn't). Think of it as as typical "good cop against corruption" type of a movie and you will enjoy it. And of course you will see numerous "references/similarities" to the original as well themes from other movies. But that's exactly what they are - references and similarities.

It is actually a thoroughly enjoyable movie - on it's own. If you liked Dabanng/Singham type of movies.

The movie starts with James Bond-esque opening credits and moves onto visions/nightmares of a horse that is sometimes white & sometimes black. Enter the good cop who takes on the powerful politicians in his home town & gets transferred to Mumbai as a "punishment". He gets assigned to investigate a murder but it leads him to something bigger. Unfortunately Ram Charan isn't able to carry on the "angry young man" look. He shouldn't have tried it.

Here is what I liked about the movie:

1. Sanjay Dutt did well as Sher Khan and thankfully he didn't have pink hair like Pran did in the original. 2. Prakash Raj as the villain. For a change he isn't doing the typical politician villain role. Though I am sure he can perform such roles in his sleep now. 3. Instead of a bracelet of the white horse, here it is a tattoo. 4. New version of "Mona darling" is OK. 5. The movie ends by keeping options open for Zanjeer 2. 6. Closing credits with voice over from the original angry young man. Similarities with other movies:

1. Car rolling downhill through a slum - I remember this from a Jackie Chan movie but can't remember the name. 2. Prakash Raj's intro scene will remind you of The Untouchables.

In closing, I am curious about 2 things in the movie:

1. Why do all NRIs live only in New York? 2. Can someone explain "Yellow Stone" police station in Mumbai?

Again, do not watch this movie by comparing to the original.This makes it a lot easier to watch.

Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru

Remake of Hitch, Partner? - Not Really
The movie starts off as a remake of Hitch/Partner (remake of Hitch in Hindi) but it doesn't end the same way.

My constant gripe with all Indian movies is the same - reduce a couple of songs - you'll save time & money. Time for the audience and money for the producers. All Indian movie makers believe that a movie won't sell without any song sequences - come on guys - think Talaash, Special 26, A Wednesday.

But I digress. Coming back to this movie - the premise is straightforward. Guy is in love with a girl but unable to express his feelings. Enter the "love doctor" who shows the guy how to win the girl.

This movie is all about Santhanam. His jokes/comedy is excellent as always. Siddharth and Hansika are just supporting cast - just like everyone else. Watch it for Santhanam.

Air Collision

Absolutely Hilarious. Leave your logic at the door and enjoy it.
Yes - I am rating this a 7/10 and no I am not crazy. I rated "The Dark Knight Rises" as a perfect 10 and "The Lincoln Lawyer" as a 9/10. If you don't agree with the ratings for these two movies, then feel free to skip the rest and move onto the next review.

If you are still with me, then lets do this.

1. Leave your logic at the door. 2. Sit back and enjoy. 3. Repeat step 1.

Come on folks, there are people in Hollywood who came up with this concept and tried to make this work. Why do you think this is crappy but Air Force One is great? The cast and the production values. If you take the same cast from this movie and replace them in Air Force One, then what happens?

Yes - the acting was wooden in a lot of places, and yes the CGI went overboard and the storyline wasn't tight. But you know what, I will give credit to the people who were brave enough to make this movie and more credit to those "dreamers" who come to Hollywood to act and managed to get a role in this movie.

Just leave your logic behind and enjoy it. Trust me - you will enjoy it.

Chhodo Kal Ki Baatein

A good adaptation from a Hollywood hit!
If you haven't figured it out from the synopsis yet, then you need to watch more movies!! This movie is a fairly good adaptation of Groundhog Day. That being said, the treatment of this movie has been changed to suit the Indian audience. The early parts of the film has flashes of Anupam Kher and it gets quite easy to figure out what is his role. I am not going to spell it out for you.

At times it feels like the time loop is dragging a bit too much but you would have to keep in mind that it is not easy for a person to realize his/her faults and change overnight. But the change in mindset has been shown very well.

The first few times that his day repeats, he is angry and upset and unable to explain to anyone what is happening. The next few times, he decides to live his life to the fullest knowing fully well that nothing will matter the next day.Post interval is when the story picks up. And that is when he enters the third phase which is realization.

The only part which I didn't enjoy is the realization phase where it seemed more of dialogue with Anupam Kher & less of actually making amends with the people around him.

The overall message is quite simple - we all live the each day over & over again with the only difference being that each day goes by a different name. We need to find our true purpose in life.

Worth a watch.

London Paris New York

A really enjoyable rom-com
The story line is quite straightforward as the title suggests. Boy meets girl in 3 different cities & falls in love with her. But the way it has been done is really enjoyable. They spend a night in each of the 3 cities at different phases of their life and makes them realize their love for each other. Some of the dialogues are R-rated but other than that it is a very watchable movie. There aren't many songs which is a good thing.

Ali Zafar is turning out to be a really good actor and Aditi Rao is perfect for this role.

Both Ali Zafar & Adi Rao have done a fantastic job of looking the part over the period of time. Dalip Tahil has a nice cameo at the end.

Toki o kakeru shôjo

Great movie!! Almost perfect.
Watched this movie on Netflix streaming a couple of weeks back! fantastic movie!!

The plot is fairly straight-forward - scientist mother invents a liquid that enables time-travel. She has an accident and is in near coma. but she asks the daughter for a favor and the daughter has to go back in time to fix it. Except that the daughter goes back in time to the wrong year.

How the daughter still manages to fix things for her mom is the rest of the story.

I can't really find fault with anything in the movie - except for maybe the overall concept of time travel. It was shot really well and when I connected the dots, it was like "whoa" - that's awesome!

The Dark Knight Rises

Mindblowing! Fantastic end to an epic trilogy
I went to watch this movie today with a lot of high expectations. Spent last night watching The Dark Knight on DVD just so I get into the mood! And I was not disappointed. Chris Nolan is a phenomenal director and this Batman trilogy beats every other batman movie that was ever made.

Bane makes a great villain but I don't think he's better than Heath Ledger's Joker. Catwoman was a nice addition.

In my view, what makes this trilogy so unique is because Nolan shows the human side of batman. He is also just another human - not a superhero blessed with special powers because of an "experiment gone wrong" or because of an extra terrestrial influence. And then again, he is not just another human. That is truly laudable.

And while 2hr45min is perhaps long by Hollywood standards, I am glad Nolan decided to keep the length and not really take short cuts. I walked out of the movie feeling completed satisfied.

Again, an amazing movie with a great supporting cast.

The best yet in 2012.

Green Lantern

Great intro to Green Lantern for someone who hasn't read the comics
I haven't read any of the Green Lantern comics and I think this movie did a very good job of setting the context and background of all the key characters. I was surprised to see this get a relatively lower rating because I think this movie was quite well made.

There is a brief history/narrative of the green lantern corps, intro to a bad guy, selection of a human green lantern, entry of the bad guy into planet earth and finally human green lantern defeats bad guy. Come on, thats the theme of every superhero comic/movie and this is no different.

I am sure there is more character development in the comics but there is only so much that can be adapted to the screen - especially as an intro movie. I do hope they make a franchise of this. There is an indication towards the credits that there could be a part 2.

All in all, a pretty enjoyable and entertaining movie. Don't always believe what the critics say :)

The Lincoln Lawyer

Simply awesome drama! Loved it.
I haven't seen Matthew McConaughey perform so well since A Time To Kill. OK maybe that is stretching it because he is a fairly versatile (cool) actor. But this is more a reference to the courtroom scenes. The storyline and summary says it all - a lawyer who operates out of his Lincoln Town Car and gets off the bad guys. A typical defense lawyer - yes. But this time, when he is in the cross hairs because his client tries to beat the system, it is amazing to watch how he turns it around. Telling anymore is to spoil the fun which I will not do in this review.

But watch it if you like drama - especially courtroom drama. Fantastic performance. You will not regret picking this movie.


Great action movie - bit too much on the gore.
This is the first foreign action movie that I watched and boy was I blown! the production values were as good as Hollywood and at times even better. The sub-titles were very apt. There is a bit too much of gore in this movie and hence giving it just a 8 instead of 9. The performance of the little girl - Sae-ron Kim is phenomenal. She has the potential to be a star.

The stunts are choreographed really well and is a treat to the eyes. So it is not just Jet Li who can move like that. The story and the direction was very tight. I had a tough time reading the sub-titles and watching the action at the same time.

The gore is a little high and might not be suitable for all viewers. But definitely a must-watch if you love action flicks like I do.

Under New Management

Nice movie to watch over the weekend. Light and Enjoyable!
I watched this movie recently and I really liked it. First of all, I watch movies for entertainment. So if you are also expecting a movie to be entertaining, then you will not regret this movie.

The plot is quite straightforward and has been treated very well. A hot shot wall street banker has his roots in Brooklyn's Italian mafia. When he steps into the don's shoes, he has to take the business legit according to a promise he made to his uncle. How he takes them legit forms the rest of the movie. Adding to the fun is that the mob is under FBI surveillance with of course a pretty FBI agent. How the two of them get together without crossing the line is nice to watch.

Wholesome fun. Go for it.

The Christmas Hope

Very touching family movie
Watched this movie on Christmas morning. The plot is quite simple and straightforward but the connections between the various actors makes it interesting.

A single mom dies on her way to work just a few days before Christmas leaving behind a young girl Emily. Social services (Patricia Addison) comes in and since none of the foster families want to take in another child, she offers to keep the girl for a few days until they can find the next of kin. She has already lost her son a few years back around Christmas and is still grieving which takes her farther away from her husband - an airline pilot.

Over the course of the movie, the couple get attached to the girl and plan to adopt her.

In all, a nice movie - few touching scenes.

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