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When the harmless become the merciless in an ordinary manner
During the 90s, Lawrence D'Souza directed several romantic films with some action and comic elements. However, as a producer, he ventured more towards action-oriented films. Despite helming a critical and commercial success like Saajan, the majority of his work is forgettable. During 1991, Lawrence D'Souza had signed Ajay Devgan for two films. Lawrence would direct the more romantic one with a love triangle, Sangram, and he would produce the more action-oriented one, Bedardi, for a newbie director, Krishnakant Pandya. Unsurprisingly, both Ajay Devgan films turned out to be major failures upon release in 1993.

Bedardi is the story of two brothers, Nirbhay Saxena and Vijay Saxena. Nirbhay is a professor who is loved by all students and teachers for his incredible speeches with some doses of poetry. He is courageous as he stands up for the truth instead of being a bystander to crimes. He is a character not known for succumbing to pressure. Nirbhay also is a family man who loves to spend time with his loved ones. Vijay is more hot-headed but he doesn't cause harm to anyone. He has completed his education but struggles to get a job. He is also a romantic who likes to sing and dance. Both Vijay and Nirbhay lead a middle-class life together with Nirbhay's wife and daughter. All is merry until Vijay starts clashing with an affluent and arrogant individual, Kanhaiya, whose actions then ensure that the Saxena family experience an unpleasant and parlous chain of events. The innocent middle-class family suffer at the hands of this criminal who always tends to escape incarceration due to his high connections. The Saxena brothers are honest and peace-loving individuals, they have always respected the law and never harmed any individual in their society. However, these harmless men transition towards merciless individuals after they the law fails to provide justice. Any individual who watches 90s action films knows exactly how this film will advance with the merciless Saxena brothers ravaging the villains in an action packed climax.

Bedardi had a solid cast and a typical but decent action film story but the director has not handled the film well. Krishnakant Pandya directs some scenes well but he is unable to hold the plot together for long. The initial portions with romance and comedy are dull but still somewhat watchable in parts. The family scenes are beautifully shown. Some of the clashes between the Saxena brothers and Kanhaiya are well directed but it drags a lot and gets too monotonous. The last 35 minutes could've easily been shortened but the director makes it too prolonged and way too dramatic. In addition, the impact of the finale dramatic and action moments pale in comparison to other 1993 similar Ajay Devgan films like Divya Shakti and Ek Hi Raasta. On the whole, the direction is mediocre at best.

Naseeruddin Shah is an exceptional actor but his act as Nirbhay Saxena works well only in parts. The dialogue delivery and expressions are good but his performance is severely affected, in parts, by a saddening but incredibly cliched plot device. At the end, the director has not been able to tap in to the full potential of Naseer's craft. This is one of Naseer's many forgettable commercial movies he himself doesn't like as seen in some of his interviews. Ajay Devgan repeats his trademark action role but he puts up a decent performance. His dialogue delivery is good and he appears confident with solid screen presence. In the 1990s, action was his forte and he is effortless for the most part. Despite this, I must say he has done better action in better 1990s films. Reena Roy is good as Nirbhay's wife, Preeti, but she doesn't have a meaty role. She still does well in the heartwarming family scenes of the Saxena family. Urmila Matondkar in one of her first acting roles is decent but doesn't get much to do. The romantic scenes are filmy and unrealistic which also makes the chemistry between Ajay and Urmila unconvincing. Ajay and Urmila have more memorable films like Bhoot where they were more convincing as a couple. Kiran Kumar is typecast as the villain and he was much better in Sunil Shetty's Pehchaan. Here, he isn't able to register that level of an impact and the arrogance and ego of a villain is completely overdone by him. Makrand Deshpande as a side villain is alright but he was better as Kaali in Sunil Shetty's Anth. Baby Gazala as Nirbhay's daughter, Ritu, is sweet and her scenes with Nirbhay strike a chord. In one scene, Ritu is trying to understand why Nirbhay won't talk to her; she is not able to understand that his vocal chords have been detrimentally affected by an injury. The director is successful here at making the viewer feel sad without making it melodramatic. Had the direction been more consistent, there would've been more such impactful scenes, the entire product would have been something more in the direction of extraordinary. Unfortunately, it is rather ordinary and substandard.

The film's music is directed by legendary composers Laxmikant and Pyarelal but there isn't a single memorable song. There is a silly romantic song called Ille Ille which is catchy but it has pathetic lyrics. The rest of the album contains mediocre tunes. The film's dialogues and screenplay is written by well-known 90s writer, Dilip Shukla. While the screenplay typical, it works on paper, the direction lets his screenplay down big time. The dialogues are somewhat good, Naseer's lines are nice at times but it gets way too monotonous. They are nowhere close to what we have seen in many other films of Naseer and Ajay.

On the whole, Bedardi is mostly a forgettable watch. It is another flop film from Lawrence D'Souza's production. It is an unpleasant experience largely due to below par direction.


Kumar Gaurav's decent comeback
Kumar Gaurav is one of Bollywood's most underrated actors. Rajendra Kumar's lad made it big as a romantic star with the incredibly successful Love Story(1981). However, after a few major hits like Teri Kasam and Naam, Gaurav found it difficult to craft a slot for himself in the 1980s. By the end of this abysmal decade filled with whimsical films, Gaurav had faded away as the audience lost interest in his films. Despite this, Rajendra Kumar made another attempt to relaunch him with a romantic film, Phool, which had started during 1989. However, as is the case with many movies back then, Phool was stuck in the can for a few years and could only see a release during 1993. It was a big release during its time with several hit melodious songs. Unfortunately, the film failed to sustain at the box office; it was a below average grosser.

Phool tells the story of Raju who leads an upper class lifestyle with his father, Dharamraaj, and his Dadi. After returning from abroad, Dharamraaj announces Raju's engagement with which Raju is fine but Dadi is upset. From his grandmother, Raju finds out that from a very young age, his father and Dharamraaj's close friend, Balraj Chaudhary, had decided that Raju would marry Balraj's daughter, Guddi, once they come of age. Raju and Guddi are very affectionate and loving towards each other during their childhood. Their love is pure and a Phool is a symbol of their unity. However, a major argument between Dharamraaj and Balraj lead to them severing their ties and Balraj's wife dying due to her being mentally affected. Over the years, Guddi develops a hatred towards Raju and his family. In present day, Raju has to now win Guddi's heart and pursue this pure and sacred love rather than marrying a random girl he feels nothing for even if it is his father's choice. Is Raju able to woo Guddi and turn her hate into love? Are Dharamraaj and Balraj able to mend their differences and reunite? Is Dadi going to see a happy ending? Phool answers these questions without dragging too much.

When Rajendra Kumar was planning this Kumar Gaurav comeback vehicle, he though it would be a good idea to get a top South Indian director with loads of experience to helm this romantic drama. Singeetam Srinivasa Rao's direction is good as he is able to handle the film smoothly for the most part. The initial scenes between Raju and his family are heartwarming and a delight to watch. Raju's individual moments with his grandmother and his father are well handled. The romantic scenes between Gaurav and Madhuri are more subtle and less over the top which makes for a good viewing experience. Gaurav's scenes with Sunil Dutt are also nicely directed. My main issues with the film are the last 30-35 minutes. It seems that Rao lost control of the film and succumbed to masala and added terribly cliched and badly directed action moments which are a bit painful to watch. However, the ending is still alright.

Kumar Gaurav puts in a good performance for the most part. He is good in the romantic and dramatic sequences and he keeps it more subtle rather than overdoing his bit. He looks confident, has a very likable screen presence, and performs well. Madhuri Dixit is very natural with her performance. She is most effective in the emotional scenes which she manages to underplay without going over the top. Her dances are also a treat to watch. Rajendra Kumar is good and his chemistry with Kumar Gaurav is one of the highlights of this film. Sunil Dutt is better and performs the emotional outbursts very well. When he has to scold his daughter and Gaurav for their love affair, he does so without going too loud or theatrical. In the same role, other renowned actors have hammed it up so badly in the 80s and 90s. Shakti Kapoor plays the standard baddie who is after the heroine where he just repeats himself. Rajoo Shreshta is decent as the mentally ill character who likes Guddi but unintentionally harasses her. Dina Pathak is great as Dadi and her moments with Gaurav also make the film a treat to watch. The rest provide decent support to the film.

Anand Milind's music is very good and it powers the film splendidly. The title song is very nicely sung by Udit Narayan and Kavita Krishnamurthy. The Ok Ok song is nicely pictured and very beautifully sung by Udit Narayan. Kya Kahoon Tujhse Main Kitna Pyaar Karta Hoon is the best of the lot with Kumar Sanu and Sadhna Sargam doing a very good job crooning this delightful song. The other songs are good as well.

The action scenes are a bit laughable as they are poorly executed. Kumar Gaurav doesn't look comfortable doing the stunts but he still manages to pull through. The background music is overused a bit too much throughout the film yet it is pleasant for the most part.

On the whole, Phool is a watchable romantic drama from the 1990s. It will be a great time for Kumar Gaurav fans but even otherwise, it is a nice feel-good romance from the Indian Film Industry.


An entertaining gem from an abysmal decade
The 1980s was an era filled with amateurish filmmaking witnessed in dozens of substandard flicks. Many superhits like Watan Ke Rakhwale, Insaniyat Ke Dushman, Jeete Hain Shaan Se, and Dariya Dil were recycled despite their box office performance. However, there were filmmakers like Mahesh Bhatt, Govind Nihalani, Mira Nair, and Sai Paranjape who made hard-hitting films which struck a chord to an audience. However, many of these sadly were not big grossers and the aforementioned unsatisfactory films continued to rake in loads of moolah. Despite this, good filmmakers continued to craft interesting cinema which kept finding an audience. Vinod Pande was one such filmmaker who started out with films like Ek Baar Phir (1980), an offbeat film with a focus on relationship conflicts and an extra-marital relationship. Beyond this, Pande went on to collaborate with a producer, Biddu, on a musical project. This later came to be known as the film, Star (1982).

Biddu's film, Star (1982), was more commercial than Pande's other films. In addition, the film was treated in a realistic manner which makes it a pleasant watch. The film's plot elements like the middle-class boy's parents wanting him to establish himself in an appropriate career is realistically portrayed. The few heated arguments, showcased in the film, between Dev and his family members, like his mother, realistically showed how middle-class families didn't see singing as a viable career option keeping society's view in mind. Despite this obstacle, it was pleasant to see his family support him even if they reluctantly do so. The struggle of Dev to get noticed and kick-start his singing career is realistically shown. His friendship with an aspiring lyricist brings forth nice light moments which makes this struggle period more enlightening and less depressing to watch. This is true even if this friend meets a tragic end. After getting noticed at a club, Charlies, Dev's rise to stardom happens organically as well. His conversations and closeness with Maya are well handled and her care for him is real without any sugar-coated elements. After Dev's brother, Shiv, interacts with Maya and they start bonding well, it can be foreshadowed that they may fall in love and Dev may be heartbroken. This love triangle is also maturely handled. Instead of focusing too much on this, the film stays on track with Dev's rise and other bigger hurdles in his path. For instance, the stylish villain, Rana, stands in between Dev's rise after his popularity gives Charlies such a traction that Rana's club suffers. How does Dev deal with Rana and his tough henchmen? Unlike many 1980s fight scenes, the action here is executed pragmatically where Shiv also taking some blows and bruises from the baddies. Essentially, Star (1982) has the pragmatic and unsentimental treatment which makes the progression of its screenplay very interesting and likable. Is Dev able to overcome all obstacles and become a singing sensation? The film answers this keeping the proceedings rather novel which evokes the audience's curiosity consistently.

Vinod Pande's direction is good with a focus on no-nonsense filmmaking but a few 80s snags cannot be ignored. For instance, after singing on a stage, Dev has time to go and bash Rana, for getting his henchmen to pummel Shiv, in his own house and make it back to sing on time.

Kumar Gaurav puts up a good performance with very likable dialogue delivery. He seems very confident and has the personality and screen presence of a young musician, a rising star. He handles the emotional scenes comfortably and has solid expressions even in the musical sequences. Raj Kiran is very good as the supportive and understanding brother. Every time he has to console and look after Dev in the film, it looks pragmatic and a major reason for this is his natural performance. Rati Agnihotri looks the part very nicely and acts well. She is natural in the songs and her scenes of care towards others melts your heart. Overall, it is very beautifully portrayed. Dina Pathak may appear annoying at first but her anger and concern towards Dev is justified and depicted in a realistic manner. In addition, she naturally understands Dev over time. She has showcased all emotions and acted nicely. A.K Hangal is good as the father who doesn't have much dialogue but his expressions reveals his feelings and care for Dev and the entire family unit. He is understated and consistent with his performance. Saeed Jaffery is typecast as the typical villain but he puts up an entertaining performance. His main henchmen, Bob Christo and Yusuf Khan, are good in their bits. The rest provide decent support.

Biddu's music is a major highlight with most songs making a mark and fitting the situations nicely. The only oddly place song, in my opinion, is Muskuraye Ja. Although a very hummable song, it's placement is distracting as it doesn't transition well in the film. The best song, in my opinion, is Oee Oee. It is executed beautifully and acts as a very pleasant situational song. The title song is also very good but Boom Boom is among the best of the lot with agreeable graphics. These graphics may appear tacky and corny now but it is pleasurable given the time of the film's release. The rest of the songs are functional and lend appropriate support.

On the whole, Star (1982) is a good film which is worth a watch to witness a quality product in an otherwise, at best, mediocre decade. If you want to see a film with commercial elements in the 1980s that rised above the usual trash, watch this gem of a film.

OK Jaanu

An incredibly beauteous love story
Shaad Ali's OK Jaanu is a delightful romantic drama which is wholly relatable. It presents a love story which is beyond the idea of a standard relationship as deemed by pop culture. Such films are a pleasure to watch because they clearly illustrate a unique kind of love. Essentially, they beautifully depict the idea of individuals being genuinely happy in a special relationship.

The film commences with a winsome animated opening credits sequence. It is delightful despite feeling like a bit of a stretch over time. The first half moves at a brisk pace with several light moments. The film's protagonist, Adi, manages to save an upset Tara from committing suicide in a train station. This beautiful girl, Tara, was devastated due to some sour prior relationship she had with a guy. After an encounter at a friend's wedding, Adi and Tara develop a special kind of relationship. In quite a short amount of time, they become more than friends. Essentially, they become each other's Jaanu in which friendship is a component. The film proceeds to happier instances through which Adi and Tara develop this special relationship. They grow close to the point where they share more or less everything with each other. Eventually, Tara is comfortable enough to share her parent's separation and her pain associated with this saddening experience. The first half also emphasizes how the lead pair are in a relationship with liberation. In other words, they give each other their personal space and respect each other's privacy. In the first half, Adi's moments as a tenant with the strict but kind hearted Justice Shrivastava are also witnessed. They develop a nice bonding over time and the film also nicely uses these moments to throw elements of comedy. Srivastava's relationship with his wife, Charu, is also gracefully explored with light moments. Charu's Alzheimers illness is well depicted and it will hit all those with loved ones suffering from the disease. The second half stagnates a bit with some emotional moments. Essentially, the film showcases the tests the lead pair's relationship will face. For instance, they will both head to different corners of the world which can reduce their physical connection. Thankfully, the film has a happy ending in which Tara and Adi are both immensely happy.

Shaad Ali's direction is good as he handles the love story splendidly. He has already proved his mettle with a classic romantic superhit like Saathiya(2002). He is quite effective at presenting beautifully touching scenes. For example, he touches your heart when he shows Adi and Tara exchanging necklaces. This beautiful scene was inserted to depict a key idea: "side by side or miles apart, you will always live in my heart". It will hit every person who experiences such a special kind of love story. Another beautiful scene is when Adi is combing Tara's hair and they look at each other using the cupboard mirror. The love they have for each other is clearly visible in this scene. Shaad has done a good job with light comedic moments. One such memorable fun moment was when Tara scares Adi by faking her pregnancy. The expression on Adi's face made this scene a genuine laugh riot. He also successfully presents emotional scenes involving Charu's illness. For instance, Charu is lost due to her illness more in the second half of the film. The scene involving her temporary disappearance from home is tear-jerking. The fact that it is naturally displayed with no needless melodrama makes it impactful. On the whole, Shaad Ali makes a successful comeback as a director after the mediocre Kill Dil(2014).

AR Rahman's music is one genuine positive that benefits the film. The Humma remake is peppy with enticing dance moves. Kara Fankara makes for a nice opening credits song but it doesn't enjoy any longevity. The pick of the album is the beautiful remake, Enna Sona. Arijit Singh once again uses his soulful voice to croon such a delightful classic. The song has been choreographed superbly and it successfully shows genuine moments of Adi and Tara. The title song is upbeat and AR Rahman's voice adds to the amusement.

Aditya Roy Kapur is excellent as the chilled out game developer, Adi. He has shown vast improvement from his first couple flicks. In fact, he has handled his character with utmost sincerity. Shraddha Kapoor is sweet and cute throughout the film. She handles her emotions quite well as compared to Aashiqui 2. She gets a characters with some layers and she manages to shine in several scenes. In fact, I will always remember her Tara more than her Aarohi from Aashiqui 2. Naseeruddin Shah is a delight to watch as Justice Shrivastava. The veteran underplays his role without any major blunders. Leela Samson as Charu is incredibly effective. Her most effectual moments involve those in which she is significantly affected by Alzheimers. The rest of the cast provide adequate support which benefits the film.

An important thing to also understand is that people experiencing this kind of love will always be happy together in this genuinely special way. This kind of relationship is much better than the other standard kind of relationship outside a marriage. In that kind, hearts are broken several times and some even suicide (Tara was going to do the same at the beginning of the film). In this special way, people are in a beautiful relationship full of love if they have a genuine special someone. People in such a genuine relationship are lucky because they can be truly happy when they could've been hurt and broken in the other kind of relationship in the past. As long as these two lucky people are truly happy together, this relationship will live forever. OK Jaanu may have flopped but it will always be a special film. Chiefly, it is special for giving rise to the idea of a different kind of love which is more special and unique.

M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story

A Captivating Biopic on Mahendra Singh Dhoni
A biopic is incredibly burdensome as a great degree of research is involved in the creative process. Such real stories can completely falter if the actual realities are poorly replicated on the silver screen. In addition, if a biopic does not display key details it doesn't really explore the realities accurately. Biopics can also largely misfire if the actualities are severely distorted. Neeraj Pandey's MS Dhoni: The Untold Story is not a backfire because it does not fall prey to these aforementioned issues. Essentially, it accurately shows MS Dhoni's legacy without spending an overdose of time on needless content; this is no hogwash.

This film beautifully shows MS Dhoni's childhood, his passions, and his struggle. This film is several notches above Azhar(2016) because it has an eye for details. Dhoni's family's values are explored well through the initial scenes. In the initial stages, his slow and steady movement towards cricket via wicket-keeping is a delight to watch. His relationship with the Bengali coach is well portrayed with good use of light moments. In this phase, the best moments are when Dhoni gets to bat the first time. Instead of just focusing on his successful hits, the film focuses on the encouragement young Dhoni gets with each hit. The film brilliantly shows how one kid's passion for batting becomes a big hit in that local area in India. It was quite intriguing to see how Dhoni uses numerous cricket tournaments as a window of opportunity to take his game to the next level. However, Dhoni's journey to incredible success was quite arduous. There were no dearth of setbacks in this rocky road to becoming a legendary Indian cricketer. This untold story examines these lows and details Dhoni's reactions through these moments. It was increasingly fascinating to view Dhoni's emotions and how he emerges stronger after each major low in his life. In fact, it was quite interesting to see how calm MS Dhoni was during certain mishaps. For example, Dhoni's calmness during tense moments like missing the flight to the Dilip Trophy was brilliantly presented. In addition, the film splendidly recreates all of Dhoni's major successes including the 2011 World Cup. Ideally, it was increasingly special to view his family witness all his major matches via television. However, the moment that takes the cake is the grand finale which many Indians will love viewing. Basically, the 2011 world cup victory was a big moment and that finale by Dhoni is one that will touch many.

Neeraj Pandey (the director of exceptional thrillers like Special 26 and Baby) has proved that he can make great films outside the thriller genre. His direction, screenplay, and dialogue is quite good. He exits his comfort zone and helms a biopic which hooks the audience till the climax. The film has a proper flow despite some unnecessary comedy (which is definitely fun to watch). Essentially, the film works due to a lack of snags. This picture does score in several other creative elements but the director successfully collaborates every element together. Basically, this biopic is a ship which did not sink like other ships because it had a highly skilled captain. If Tony D'Souza directed this film, it would've been far less effective like his Azhar(2016).

Sushant Singh Rajput delivers an exceptional performance as Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He gets into the skin of the character and his enormous effort is clearly visible. This character has quite a few layers and Sushant demonstrates them with a high degree of success. In my honest opinion, his best scene was an incredibly difficult emotional breakdown. In this one moment, Dhoni is informed of his special someone's demise and it hits him really hard. Instead of hamming it up badly, Sushant keeps it real and portrays this heartbreaking moment brilliantly. The scenes where he has to juggle between exams and cricket are brilliantly enacted. In fact, you can actually observe the struggle period and his acting makes it more natural. Such moments make his triumphant victories even more beautiful. Disha Patani is sweet as Priyanka Jha and her importance in Dhoni's life is well explored. The beautiful lass underplays her role well. It is such a delight to see her genuine love for Dhoni and her demise is quite agonizing. Kiara Advani doesn't have a big part but she plays a pivotal role in Dhoni's life. Her romantic moments with Dhoni do distract a bit but they are beautiful to view. She has acted well despite the limited screen time; it would be wrong to deem this as a blink and miss appearance. Anupam Kher is excellent as Dhoni's father. His concerns for his son's future are realistic and he enacts these moments effectively. His best moments appear when he watches his sons highs and lows in the big cricket matches. However, his best scene is the finale in which we see his tears of joy for the grand victory. The rest of the cast are all effectively utilized as they all have important moments in the story.

Amaal Mallik's music is great with some beautiful songs like Jab Tak and Besabriyaan. Arijit's Phir Kabhi strikes a chord for its lyrics as well as the excellent singing. Chiefly, the music has been beautifully crooned by the numerous musicians involved.

On the whole, this is a great biopic which completely deserves all the love it got from the audience. It accurately presents the story of our Indian skipper and it does not shy away from the lows of his career. It is backed up by research and there is no major distortion of facts. Only a director of Neeraj Pandey's caliber could've pulled this off with such a great degree of triumph.

Jai Ho

Strictly for Salman Khan "Bhai" lovers
Sohail Khan's Jai Ho is a disjointed Masala film which tries incredibly hard to deliver a message. There is too much nonsensical comedy and unnecessary action which significantly ruins the film's focus. Basically, such Masala elements play a huge spoilsport. Essentially, this damp squid would have been tolerable if it had a steady narrative at the very least.

Jai Ho tells the story of court martialed, Jai Agnihotri, who can't afford to see any common helpless person suffer. The first half of the film contains several sequences in which Jai is battering hooligans, romancing a newbie, cracking ridiculously bad jokes, and randomly helping several who are suffering. The scenes involving the help chain are forced and rarely create the desired impact. The main issue is the fact that too much emphasis is placed on needless elements. For instance, unnecessary focus is placed on the quarrels in Jai's family involving Jai's marriage plans. The whole track in which Jai's nephew calls the heroine a pink underwear is atrocious. Unfortunately. this tasteless gag is repeated several times which becomes an intolerable headache eventually. The entire chain of events with Genelia and her tragic demise is just way too forced. It does not create an impact because it is completely rushed. The second half focuses more on mindless action which further mars the film's message. It is basically action for the sake of action which has minimal connection with the message. After a certain point, the overdose of blood and gore is migraine inducing. The makers squeeze in more silly family quarrels which become a complete snoozefest by this point. Jai Ho is also a turkey because it contains some ludicrous scenes. For instance, Sunil Shetty's character randomly arrives in a tank to save Salman in the climax. The tank pops out of nowhere and this takes the film to a whole new level of tacky. Another ridiculous scene involves Salman starting a hospital van by kicking it. At the end, a noble message gets ravaged because the makers completely overdid the Masala in this dish.

Sohail Khan's direction is pretty mediocre as he fails to deliver the noble message. The film lacks a proper tempo and appears completely disjointed due to several nonsensical scenes. The very first portions of the film have 2 forced songs which also tests your patience. Sohail was never a great director in the first place what with disasters like Hello Brother(1999). A different director could have created a film with a clear focus on the main plot instead of excessive focus on appalling subplots.

A.R Murugadoss's story is as old as hills. He has presented a good vs. evil story which is like old wine in new bottle. The help chain message is interesting on paper but it's execution is poor. Dilip Shukla's screenplay is average at best. His screenplay includes way too many characters and most of their introductions are hasty with minimal detailing. In fact, there are quite a few cardboard characters who are simply there to fight Salman Khan in some action scenes. These characters were simply included to entertain the single screen audience with more mindless action sequences. Dilip Shukla's dialogues are commonplace which merely fill the bill. There are a few powerpacked dialogues but most lack the zeal to create clapworthy moments.

Abbas Ali Moghul's action is overdone with an excessive amount of blood and gore towards the climax. The villain's henchmen keep coming in waves and it gets tiring after a while. Sajid Wajid's is a complete disappointment for the most part. Songs like "Bakhi Sab First Class Hai" and "Nacho Re" just add to the film's length and are unbearable. The title song is rushed but a few portions of it have nice beats. The "Love you till the end" song is alright. The saving grace is one beautiful song "Tere Naina Bade Quatil". Shaan and Shreya Ghoshal croon it effectively.

Salman Khan is a treat to watch for all those crazy "Bhai" lovers. In my honest opinion, he is nothing great here. He seems quite uncomfortable in some comedy scenes. His growling and screeching gets on your nerves after a while. However, he is fairly decent in some serious scenes. His die hard fans will love the overdose of action in which he thrashes criminals like there's no tomorrow. Daisy Shah is good in some scenes but too wooden in others. The script can also be blamed for giving her dialogues like "My name is Rinky Shah not Rickshaw". Several such insipid moments ruin her performance. Danny Denzongpa repeats his act of the menacing villain. This is something he has mastered as he has been playing such roles since the early 1990s. Tabu is good as Jai's supportive sister who loves and cares for him the most. Genelia D'Souza is wasted in an unnecessary cameo which tries hard to move the audience. Nadira Babbar is irritating as the bossy mother who keeps arguing with Tabu. Mohnish Bahl is good as the minister who supports Jai when he really needs it. Sunil Shetty's cameo is decent. He aces it every time he plays the military man. The rest provide decent support.

On the whole, Jai Ho is a tedious film which had the potential to deliver a strong message. However, the film loses focus because an overdose of Masala mars the narrative. An age old story with a message can work if the makers are able to craft such a message. In Jai Ho's case, the makers are unable to deliver the message because they must please "Bhai" fans with an overdose of Masala.

Insaaf: The Final Justice

Ordinary action film full of dull moments
Insaaf:The Final Justice is a typical action vehicle which was completely rejected upon release. During the late 1990s, audiences were dissatisfied with such absurd films which appeared severely jaded. In fact, a long list of action flicks were failing despite having saleable stars like Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, and Sunny Deol. Thus, the disastrous performance of Insaaf is no surprise; it was simply delayed and the concept was done to death.

Insaaf tells the routine story of a hard boiled police inspector, Vikram Singh. He is the honest cop who cannot stand any kind of illicit activities in Mumbai. He leads a blithe life with his sister, Aarti Singh, who teaches in a school. When Vikram clashes with a local mob boss, Chiman Bhai, his radiant conveniently falls apart. Naturally, Vikram will slaughter all those who ruined his colorful. Most of Insaaf's second half focuses on how Vikram slays each and every villain.

Insaaf's plot is pretty mundane with an extremely unimaginative screenplay. It takes this wearisome vehicle a significant amount of time to develop the plot. To make matters worse, there are some forced comedy scenes which test your patience. As usual, the first half is full of comedy and romance which are never established properly. In fact, they seem pretty disjointed. The fun moments are mostly few and far between. The second half does evoke some interest but it quickly becomes too dull. The entire chain of events showcasing the brutal death of Vikram's sister and her students is just overdone. In addition, it is really hard to digest that one girl is able to survive for a significant amount of time despite being wounded with bullets. The most nonsensical portion of the film is when Akshay attacks Alok in the loo. He is not able to extract any information out of him and the film continues to drag. On the flipside, the hospital rescue sequence is decently demonstrated. Overall, the direction by Dayal Nihalani leaves a lot to be desired.

Anand Milind's music is one of the saving graces of the film. It is pretty entertaining despite some oafish lyrics. The most popular song from the film, Baarana De, is catchy but has ridiculously defective lyrics. Taana Tandana is alright with hilarious choreography. The best song is Meri Jaane Jaana. The song is soulful with good beats as well. It's sad that this singer never got many popular songs. The action by Akbar Bakshi is pretty average. There is only one memorable sequence which involves Akshay hanging on a chopper to reach the villains one by one.

Akshay Kumar is very average in his third act as a cop in 1997. He was much better as the inspector in Sabse Bada Khiladi. He overdoes scenes in which he has to express his frustration. Despite excelling in stunts as usual, this is one of Akshay's weaker films. Thankfully, he has done a notable amount of films which are worth remembering. Shilpa Shetty is decent but she does not get a lot of scope to act. She is mostly propped up as eye candy but she does her bit without hamming it up. Paresh Rawal is good but he did a better job as the humorous mob boss in Sunil Shetty's smash hit, Anth. Ranjeet is alright but has very little to do. Alok Nath hams it up whenever he has to excessively worry about losing his illicitly attained position as a minister. Mohan Joshi is good in a positive role for once. Rana Jung Bahadur repeats his side villain act. His character shouldn't have been terminated early in the film. Achyut Potdar has a very small role and he does what is required. The rest provide decent support and manage to fill the bill.

On the whole, Insaaf is a commonplace film with minimal qualities. It will only be re-watched by those who love to watch Akshay Kumar kick butt. I would say that this humdrum is strictly for Akshay Kumar fans.

Bade Dilwala

A captivating flick with some hiccups
There are some films which manage to keep you hooked despite having some irritating content. Such films have needless segments which definitely bore. However, there is always a core component which keeps your interest alive. This is why you continue watching such a film till the end credits roll. Shakeel Noorani's Bade Dilwala is one such film which is surely worth the time and effort at the end. Despite some setbacks, Bade Dilwala packs a punch because it presents such a beautiful love story between Sunil Shetty and Priya Gill. Basically, this one key component is touching and it stays with you till the very end.

Bade Dilwala's graceful storyline includes an honest cop, Ram Prasad Sharma. He leads an average life with a genial daughter and an avaricious wife. He is one of the rarest cops in India who refuses to earn money through illegal activities. In fact, the chap doesn't even let his sub inspector obtain any bribes. One fine day, he wins a significant amount of money through lottery and that changes his life completely. Ram's materialistic wife is very happy because money and fame is all she can mostly see in life. However, Ram had promised a waitress that he would provide her half of his lottery money. Ram's wife is not able to digest this news as she wanted to possess every portion of that fortune. During these times, Ram also develops feelings for the waitress, Piya. Is Ram able to give Piya half the fortune? Will Ram continue to lead a normal life with his greedy wife? Watch Bade Dilwala to know the answer to these questions.

Shakeel Noorani's direction is good for the most part. However, he has fallen prey to some commercial ingredients. There are a few action scenes which were pretty unnecessary. They feel disjointed from the rest of the events from the film. What's worse is the fact that the action involves very little hand to hand combat. Moreover, the action scene in the mall is comedic which slightly mars the scope for action. In addition, some of the songs were unnecessary because they drag the film. Despite this, the film has noteworthy merits. For instance, the sweet love story between Sunil and Priya is triumphant and that will bring a smile to the viewer's face. The best thing about the love story is the fact that it is quite mature. There are no overdone romantic moments which ensures that the film isn't an infuriating experience. The comedy sequences are a treat because several create laugh out loud moments. Basically, Noorani is able to create a soulful film despite some pointless elements.

Sunil Shetty is in form because he underplays his role superbly. He does not overdo his bit in any scene. This also includes the scene in which his wife takes things too far and he loses his cool. If you compare this performance to some of Sunil's earlier performances, you will clearly see Sunil's improvement. His dialogue delivery was not jarring like some of his earlier action flicks like Anth. Archana Puran Singh manages to make the audience despise her greedy character. However, she tends to overdo her bit after the first half of the film. Towards the end, she becomes a little unbearable. Priya Gill looks magnificent and acts her part with utmost sincerity. Her dialogue delivery was slightly off in certain scenes but she brings in the right expressions. There was nothing significantly mechanical about her performance. Paresh Rawal is good as the conman who dupes Archana Puran Singh. He gets some of the best moments and makes the most of them. His comic timing is fabulous. The child artist (Sunil's on screen daughter) is cute and does her bit successfully. Satish Kaushik is hilarious as Sunil's sub inspector. Ranjeet leaves a mark in a crucial cameo. The rest provide decent support.

On the whole, Bade Dilwala is a satisfying experience which shines because of a heartwarming love story. The film is also notable because it is another mature and convincing performance from Sunil Shetty. This is one underrated gem which deserved to rake a lot more moolah at the box office


Engrossing thriller with brutal action
The first collaboration between Sunil Shetty and Ashok Honda resulted in a barbarous action film, Anth. Rakshak was their second outing which could not match the stupendous success of Anth. However, this picture is better since it is supported with superior direction as compared to Anth. In addition, Rakshak also has a plot which is more engrossing than Anth. If the film falters, it is because of some of the acting instead of the direction.

Rakshak's storyline consists of a coma patient who is being targeted by some criminals. After he is rescued and revived, we come to know that Raj Sinha was once an Assistant Superintendent of Police. He was leading a positive life with his family members. He visited his village after giving his police course exams. During his stay, he is notified of his success in those courses. Basically, he becomes an ASP of the Indian Police Force. Unfortunately, all this happiness is short lived. Sadly, wicked situations and vicious circumstances were against Sinha and his family members. It can be predicted that the antagonists of Rakshak are responsible for all the toil and trouble in Raj's colorful life. However, the entire chain of events demonstrating this are well shot in the first half. The audience's attention is hooked for the most part. After watching a great deal of cruel injustice, the audiences (especially Sunil Shetty fans) will be interested to witness Sunil's character ferociously ravage the antagonists of this film. In other words, the audiences will rarely find a boring moment in this film.

Ashok Honda's direction is good but it somehow falters towards the climax. The entire climatic battle is overdone and there is an overdose of violence. The first half is mostly coherent with occasional snags like a few crude comedy scenes. For instance, the "Kuchi Kuchi" game between Sunil and Karishma is a little crude after the first couple times. The second half is much more serious with a lot of bloodshed which will entertain action lovers.

Action sequences are mostly well choreographed by Ravi Dewan. Dewan is more creative this time without shying away from the brutality. However, the pre-climax action scene is preposterous. This is because Sunil is able to dodge numerous bullets while driving a jeep which never gets damaged until the end. I understand that 1990s action sequences are not meant to be very realistic. However, such an action scene with an increasingly unrealistic invincibility factor is just too hard to digest.

Anand Milind's music is very refreshing having some of the biggest hits of the 1990s. Shehar Ki Ladki is a catchy song with hilarious lyrics. The song went on to become a chartbuster in the mid 1990s. Kuchi Kuchi was added eventually and it also quickly climbed the charts. It's lyrics are fun and it has also been well shot like Shehar Ki Ladki. Sundara Sundara was the second biggest hit in the film, it is a decent song. The sensuous song, Uee Yaa, is forgettable. However, Zaalim Jahan Berang Hai has superior lyrics. It manages to successfully show Sunil's transformation from a weakened person to a brawny individual. The song contains some training montages which are a delight to watch.

Sunil Shetty shines in the action sequences but is far from outstanding in other aspects of acting. In the 1990s, he was never great at emoting. However, he was surprisingly better at emoting in some of his previous films like Takkar. In Rakshak, he overacts terribly in some important scenes. For example, when he has to weep inconsolably for the demise of his loved ones, he hams it up. In addition, when he has to shout at the villains, he hams it up. In some of his other flicks, he would not overdo such scenes. In short, he was much better in films like Mohra, Takkar, and Gopi Kishan. Karishma Kapoor is hilarious in some scenes but it was depressing to watch her innocent character meet such a tragic demise. She looks ravishing and does her role with ease. Sonali Bendre has a shorter role but she is excellent here. Instead of simply being a bimbette, she gets a role and she is convincing as the lady doctor. Aruna Irani is successfully convincing as Sunil's mother in the film. Raghuvaran appears menacing but he overdoes his villainy. Mushtaq Khan is good in a few hilarious sequences during the first half of the film. He is also decent as the caring friend of Sunil after Sunil's family is wiped out. Alok Nath is convincing as the police commissioner who encourages Sunil to join the police force. Deepak Shirke is alright as the corrupt cop. The rest provide decent support.

On the whole, Rakshak is engrossing but it could have been better. It's action and music stand out the most. However, Sunil's underperformance and some inconsistencies largely affect the film. Despite this, Rakshak is still worth a watch because it keeps you hooked mostly.


One of Sunil's better films in the 1990s
The Indian Film Industry had some action oriented crime films in the 1990s. However, most of these were atrocities with disastrous outcomes at the box office. Mahendra Bohra's Takkar may pale in comparison to Rajiv Rai's breathtaking Mohra(1994), but it is definitely not a hideous product. Takkar may contain some rough patches but it is not a migraine inducing flick.

Takkar is a crime drama with shades of Unlawful Entry in the latter portions of the film. It presents a beautiful love story between the lead pair who are harassed by a dirty cop. The cop strongly lusts after the lead heroine. In order to retrieve the heroine, the cop wrongly imprisons the hero. While our hero is in jail, the cop tries to befriend the heroine. The rest of Takkar focuses on how the hero evades prison to defeat this dishonorable inspector.

The late Bharat Rangachary ably crafts an action film with a neat plot. The director ensures that a decent plot is emphasized instead of simply focusing on action scenes (A problem with some Sunil Shetty films from the 1990s). Bhushan Banmali's screenplay is decent with minimal illogical sequences. The main issues are some surreal scenes like the vehicle action sequence in which Sunil has to reach the police court by surviving many oncoming hired gunmen. This is one of the many overdone action scenes emphasized during the 1990s. The hand to hand action scenes are more realistic. Overall, the action scenes are good for the most part. R. Rajendran's editing could be tighter but he leaves a mark. This is because the film flows with minimal nonsensical distractions. Basically, there are rarely any needless comedy hampering the film's flow. However, a few scenes like those involving Sunil's cellmate are dispensable. The film's background score is worth a mention. The background score contains good use of piano to build up tension when required. However, one minor issue is the overuse of such background music when nothing thrilling is occurring. Such an issue is minor because it occasionally happens in the film.

Despite noteworthy merits, Takkar has some illogical goofs which cannot be ignored. For example, Sunil claims to have captured the entire scenario of Naseer murdering Shafi Inamdar in the factory which is unbelievable. The factory was surrounded by police so it would've been inaccessible. Even if Sunil manages to enter the factory, why doesn't he save Shafi Inamdar from Naseer? Another implausible scene is when Sunil is shot several times by Naseeruddin early in the film. I find it hard to believe that someone could survive so many gunshots. Initially, when the factory sequence is shown, it ends abruptly which affects the smooth flow of the film. This editing goof is a little irritating. If these mistakes were avoided, the film would've been more successful and I would've rated it higher. One thing that is a little hard to accept is the ease at which Sunil becomes a brilliant law student in prison. We are not shown any scenes how him working very hard for his law studies in prison.

It would have been more convincing if Sunil was shown as an aspiring lawyer from the beginning of the film instead of a photographer. The makers could have shown him completing his law studies in prison. Basically, this would be more plausible because it is very difficult to believe that someone can achieve distinction in law within 2 years in a prison. Takkar would have been a more successful product if such issues were dealt with.

Anu Malik's music is decent with two outstanding tracks. Aankhon Mein Base Ho Tum was a big hit which shows the beautiful romance between the lead pair. Palkein Ho Khuli Ya Bandh Sanam is the typical memorable Kumar Sanu song with great lyrics. The other songs like Love is Mad are forgettable.

Sunil Shetty is convincing as the calm Ravi Malhotra who can lose his cool if harassed. He had improved in scenes which required him to shout and express his frustration. In the early 1990s, Sunil's biggest weakness was such outburst scenes in which he would overact badly. It was good to see him improve this defect through some of his 1994 and 1995 releases. Sonali Bendre looks beautiful and does her part properly. She does justice to her role which does not require her to simple be the eye candy in an action oriented film. Naseeruddin Shah is effective as the corrupt cop who lusts after Sonali Bendre. He successfully makes the audience despise his character, Inspector D'Souza. It is great watching Naseer get battered by Sunil in the film's culminating action sequence. Tiku Talsania has a small role and he manages to evoke laughter. For once, Kunika is not a vamp and she does her positive role successfully. The rest provide decent support.

In short, Takkar is a noteworthy crime film with shades of romance and action. It may not be as good as Sunil's Mohra (1994) or Krishna (1996) but it definitely packs a punch. Despite some jarring goofs, it is worth a watch. I would definitely recommend this film to all fans of Sunil Shetty action flicks.

Hu Tu Tu

A hard-hitting and realistic flick
There are some films which intend to be meaningful but some overtly pointless elements largely ruin these noble intentions. Thankfully, Hu Tu Tu does not fall in that bracket because it delivers superbly. This is a noteworthy flick which realistically portrays some despicable issues like corruption in India.

In Hu Tu Tu, politics is shown as a nasty realm which can lure simple village people like Malti Bai. In this film, the politicians only care about power and only help the poor when they require immense support for the elections. If anyone decides to cross the path of these power-hungry politicians, they will be either end up badly wounded or brutally murdered. The children of such affluent politicians and industrialists can lead a distasteful life. This is because the parents of such children have little interest in them. For instance, Aditya's father can sacrifice him for his empire. In other words, this megalomaniac industrialist mainly cares about his nefarious empire rather than his son. Such problems are ingeniously demonstrated in this exceptional film.

Gulzar's direction is exceptional because he has successfully maintained a realistic tone for this film. This film would've been far less effective if it was larger than life or over the top. The film's pace is slow but it has been given handled brilliantly. There are no needless characters and the plot does not stagnate. Basically, the film never loses focus and the flow is splendid. Vishal Bhardwaj's music is good because it flows well with the issues presented in this flick. These songs are not chartbusters but they are significant. In addition, they fit into the plot without stealing the film's focus. In my opinion, the best song in the film is Yaaro. It perfectly captures the happy moments of Panna and Aditya's troubled life. The only snag is the scene in which Panna meets Aditya for the first time. This scene appears suddenly and it feels quite odd. However, this is a minor glitch which does not largely affect the film.

Sunil Shetty has delivered a mind blowing performance which is a welcome change from his typical action roles. This role makes him stand out because he underplays it with a high degree of success. This is not the same Sunil Shetty who hammed it up in action flicks like Anth(1993). It was great of him to act in a unique film and excel in it. Tabu is exceptional in a role which required her to go beyond singing and dancing in atrocious songs. It was great to see her in a role with substance. She mouths some of the best dialogues and she makes the most of them. Nana Patekar is amazingly effective as the innocent Bhau with noble intentions. It was depressing to watch his character receive so much pain towards the end of the film. A man who only wished the best for his village people did not deserve such agony.Suhasini Mulay is effective as simple village girl who becomes a corrupt politician. Her transformation is well portrayed with a great deal of realism. Kulbushan Kharbandra manages to successfully portray an affluent industrial with little respect for his son. The rest provide decent support.

On the whole, Hu Tu Tu is a rare excellent film which realistically demonstrates the sorry state of affairs in India. It was very unfortunate for such a commendable film fail at the box office. Gulzar and his team must be lauded for this riveting film.


A gripping espionage thriller
Neeraj Pandey's Baby is a brilliantly crafted espionage action thriller which works because it delivers all its promises. It has elements of espionage which have been well crafted throughout it's entire running time. It may be slightly jingoistic but it entertains and clearly does not create any boredom for the audiences.

This is a film about a black ops unit code-named "Baby" who are responsible for neutralizing the numerous threats spreading terror in India. Basically, the group's main goal is capture and transport terrorists who are secretly planning bomb blasts. The film covers three such covert operations in which the government officials secretly sends it's "babies" across borders to eliminate threats. The covert missions are brilliantly executed by Pandey and his crew. Despite some flaws, the film is able keep the audiences hooked. The film largely succeeds because there are no jarring elements like forced long comedy scenes or unnecessary songs. In other words, Neeraj Pandey's vehicle never loses steam because there is no loss of focus from the film's plot.

Shree Narayan Singh has successfully edited the film because Baby never feels dull and long. Baby never overstays it's welcome since it doesn't snag or drag. Neeraj Pandey has ensured that the entire crew of this film have performed their duties expertly. Basically, Neeraj Pandey has really proved his mettle as a master stroke director and one hopes that his next production venture, Rustom, is also a splendid act.

The film has a few action sequences which are raw and real. None of these sequences are unrealistic and they really entertain. These fun sequences will get audiences cheering. Music in limited doses is alright. Such a crisp thriller had no scope for music but the Esha Gupta song, Beparwah, is decent. The slow song, Main Tujhse Pyar Nahi Karta, is soulful and melodious. An excerpt of this song is heard in the film and it lightens the mood.

It is truly a welcoming change for Akshay Kumar fans because such a spark of brilliance is rarely witnessed in Akshay Kumar's incredibly long movie career. Akshay has acted in good films but none are as memorable as Baby. If there is one reason Baby really stands out, it is because of the Khiladi Kumar's outstanding performance. He suits the role superbly and carries it out with élan. Akshay keeps his act restrained with absolutely no overacting and over the top antics. This is truly an extraordinary performance which requires a standing ovation. Rana Dagubatti does not have many dialogues but he keeps his act real and looks the part superbly. Danny Denzongpa who disappointed with 2014's blasphemy, Bang Bang, is back and delivers very well. He has proved his versatility by doing a role completely different from his usual preposterous villainy. Tapsee Pannu has a very small role but she creates an impact with that one fantastically choreographed action sequence. Anupam Kher manages to evoke laughter because of his natural comic timing and Sushant Singh is good in his small role. The rest of the cast has provided good support.

On the whole, Neeraj Pandey's Baby successfully creates an action thriller which has been exceptionally crafted. Neeraj deserves special mention because he really brought the best out of Akshay Kumar. I hope their upcoming collaborations like Rustom also turn out to be magnificent and excellent thrillers.


Another meaningful Akshay Kumar movie
Akshay Kumar is one actor who has significantly matured over his incredibly long movie career. It can be argued that he is still doing mindless potboilers like Singh is Bling (2015) but if you see his growth as an actor, it is incredible. Over the last couple years, he has successfully demonstrated his versatility through films like Oh My God (2012), Special 26 (2013), and Baby (2015). Airlift (2016) is yet another aesthetically significant Akshay Kumar movie after the critical and commercial success of Baby.

Airlift tells the story of a shrewd businessman, Ranjit Katyal, who organized an evacuation in Kuwait. There were several Indians trapped when Sadaam Hussain and his brutally efficient Iraqi Army invaded Kuwait. Katyal goes against all odds and attempts to rescue all these stranded and helpless Indians. He becomes their savior, a ray of hope for many innocents who have given up. Airlift narrates this important journey of how one Kuwait based Indian saved many lives with essential assistance from India.

Raja Krishna Menon has done a brilliant job handling the film. As a director, he has ensured that each department has done its job effectively without any jarring components. Most scenes do not drag to the core and there is rarely an over the top moment in this brilliant film. Menon's screenplay is good but there are some minor flaws. For instance, Menon tries to keep the film real without any unwanted action scene. However, at the end, there is a convoluted action scene which can be seen as a snag. However, this does not significantly hamper the film and its message. Ritesh Shah's dialogues are great. In certain scenes, there is some dry humor which works well. In addition, some of the dialogues are clap-worthy. Editing has increasingly crisp which is great but in a few scenarios, it is too crisp. Action in limited doses is good but it prolongs the film a little. Music is fantastic and all songs are properly placed in the film. Soch Na Sake is a beautifully pleasant composition while Dil Cheez Tujhe Dedi is a catchy foot taping song. Main Nachan Tu is a fun song but Tu Bhoola Jise is the best song. In the film, it is bound to make you a little touched. The other technical aspects of the film are good.

Akshay Kumar gives one of his best performances ever. He gives a power-packed performance which will definitely be remembered even if some people disagree. The expressions and the body language is fabulous. Nimrat Kaur has a significant role and she impresses. Purab Kohli does not have much to do but he leaves a mark. Inaamullahaq hams it up as the Iraqi major but Prakash Belawadi is good as George Kutty. The rest provide decent support.

On the whole, Airlift is a culturally and aesthetically significant film which will be remembered in future. It will be more remembered for the fact a versatile superstar like Akshay Kumar backed it up and believed in the marvelous content. If Akshay keeps doing such films, it will be fantastic. I'm going to go with a 9/10, it is a must watch.

Family: Ties of Blood

A Big Disappointment
When Family:Ties of Blood(2006) was announced, many people were exhilarated because of the star cast and a very promising director. A typical moviegoer would have thought that nothing could go wrong with such a promising film as the trailers were amazing. Another thing going for the movie was some of its catchy songs. However, the result was a shoddy movie full of tepid moments.

Rajkumar Santoshi's Family is a violent action flick in which Akshay Kumar and Aryaman Ramsay play brothers. They are from a happy middle class family and things get better when Akshay gets married to Bhumika Chawla, the heroine of this dreadful film. However, all goes awry when Akshay suddenly meets a tragic end. Aryaman decides to avenge his brother by kidnapping the family of Amitabh Bachchan, the mafia don who killed Akshay. What follows is a predictable game of cat and mouse which creates more bloodshed.

Normally, Rajkumar Santoshi is a brilliant director with acclaimed hits like Ghayal(1990), Ghatak(1996), and Khakee(2004). However, this time, he messes up badly. Shaktimaan Talwar's script was nothing great in the first place but one expected Santoshi to direct this script effectively. The script contains some light moments but they bore after a point. The action scenes are supposed to be the film's highlight but they are too over the top and ultra violent. The kidnapping scenes are extremely amateurish and lack the impact. The ending is way too overdone with more tedious violence. Basically, Rajkumar Santoshi has done an extremely poor job at directing this film. Tigmanshu Dhulia's dialogs are functional.

Amitabh Bachchan is not in form and tends to go over the top with his expressions. He performs ably but this is nowhere close to being as great as his cop act in Khakee. Akshay Kumar is completely wasted and this is very irritating for any Akshay fan. Being a big fan, I could not tolerate the fact that he had such a small role. He was funny in some comic scenes but his character is sidelined quite early in the film. Aryaman Ramsay is no hero and it was ridiculous of Rajkumar Santoshi to give him the bigger role. He hams throughout the role and it would have been better if he was dismissed early instead of Akshay Kumar. Bhumika Chawla gives a restrained performance but has very little scope to show her talent. Kader Khan has a few moments and he is wasted. Sushant Singh hams it up completely as Amitabh's spoilt son. The rest of the cast provide average support.

Ram Sampath's music is the saving grace of this disastrous film. Quick Bite is a fun introduction song which shows Akshay's entertaining work life. Qatra Qatra is the best of the lot with its catchy beats. The other songs are also nice.

On the whole, Family is a big disappointment and this explains why it was a box office flop. Akshay Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan have not been utilized effectively and this must have been a big downer for many people.


An average remake of Warrior
It isn't rare for a Bollywood film to be a remake of a popular Hollywood movie. If there is anything rare, it is when a Bollywood remake clicks well and is appreciated. Brothers(2015) is an official remake of Warrior and it tries very hard to stand out. Unfortunately, Brothers does not make much of an impact. It has brilliant choreographed action sequences, good performances, and amazing songs but this is far from enough. When the trailers came out, one was expecting a well made remake but the hype was not matched.

The main problem with Brothers is that it fails to display the emotions effectively. Warrior did a good job at displaying the right emotions and ensuring that it does not go overboard. Brothers falters here because it becomes way too melodramatic. The emotions do work but at times, it becomes unbearable. When the melodrama goes overboard, watching Brothers becomes a very tepid experience. Jackie Shroff's character has not been well handled in the initial scenes; he is made to cry inconsolably. These scenes are supposed to be powerful but they do not create a strong impact. Nick Nolte had acted these scenes without hamming but Jackie Shroff is forced to mess it up terribly. I did not understand why Akshay Kumar's on-screen daughter was nicknamed PooPoo. This caused unintentionally comedy when it should have been an emotional scene related to the girl's illness.

Brothers successfully scores in showing the relationship between the young Akshay and Siddharth. Their relationship is well explored. Those flashback scenes stand out until Jackie Shroff's character is made to shout and create a mess. Brothers also works in terms of the action sequences. The MMA fight scenes are good and keep the audience entertained after a highly melodramatic first half. The training montage scenes are fantastic. To sum it up, the screenplay is faulty and Karan Malhotra's direction is nothing great. It is time he directs a movie which is not a remake.

A major saving grace for Brothers is the music. Ajay-Atul have done a great job as most of the songs stand out. The Brothers Anthem create a powerful impact during the training montage scenes; Vishal Dadlani croons the song superbly. Gaaye Ja is a slow but soulful song. Sonu Nigam's Sapna Jahan is beautiful song which is my favorite. The only song that does not work is Mera Naam Mary. Kareena Kapoor scorches the screen by exposing her body but the lyrics are cheap. In addition, such a song should not exist for a movie which was promoted as one of good content.

Akshay Kumar has given a superb performance. He can be seen as the crusader in this jungle in which most others ham it up. Siddharth Malhotra has not impressed much. He has tried his best and is functional for the most part. Jackie Shroff is decent until he has to scream and shout. This makes his performance average and the screenplay can be blamed for this. Jacqueline Fernandez does not have much to do and is passable. Shefali Shah is a small role and she does well. Kiran Kumar is funny but he hams it up as well. Ashtosh Rana has some good moments but an actor of his caliber can do so much more. The rest provide decent support.

On the whole, Brothers fails to be a solid remake of Warrior. It is at best an average film with some merits. At the box office, the film opened big but failed to sustain. Once again, it has been proved that Bollywood cannot make good Hollywood remakes consistently.

Singh Is Bliing

A one time watch for Akshay Kumar fans
Akshay Kumar is one of the versatile actors of the Hindi Film Industry. He started receiving more appreciation ever since he did films like Sangharsh(1999), Hera Pheri(2000), Khakee(2004), Garam Masala(2005), Namastey London(2007), Special 26(2013), and Baby(2015). These are not his only noteworthy movies but these stand out the most. Unfortunately, Kumar has done quite a lot of films which did nothing much for him. He acted well in such films but they were very average in terms of content. Singh is Bling(2015) is an addition to the list of the average films Kumar has done. The film is not as bad as the 12 year delayed Akshay Kumar film Hatya(2004). However, it is nothing great.

Singh is Bling has the same done to death plot of a Singh. In fact, Singh is King(2008) did a better job with this typical story. There are some funny moments in the film but they cannot save the film. The first half is still bearable because of some hilarious scenes. However, some of the comedy scenes like Lara Dutta sleep walking is just too stupid. The comedy works in parts in the first half but in the second half, the it gets tiring. There are some good scenes like the mother and son bonding between Akshay Kumar and Rati Agnihotri. However, this does not make the second half watchable. In fact, the second half fails to entertain as much as the first half.

PrabhuDeva has tried really hard but his direction leaves a lot to be desired. His Wanted and Rowdy Rathore were nothing great but they still maintained the entertainment in the second half to an extent. PrabhuDeva's direction is better than the terrible Action Jackson but it is nothing great. The film has not been well edited because post interval, it just drags and it becomes really unbearable.

The film can only be watched once because Akshay Kumar does a good job. He still has the good comic timing and he rises above this mediocre film. As a die hard Akshay Kumar fan, I love watching all his movies but now, I realize that Akshay Kumar deserves better. Even a Gabbar is Back(2015) or a Brothers(2015) is better than a silly Singh is Bling(2015). I know he will continue to do such films as Housefull 3(2016) is on the way. I will continue watching all his movies but I will always like it more when he does a Baby(2015) or a Airlift (2016), his next release.

Amy Jackson looks good but that's about it. The girl just cannot act. In future, she may improve but she is not an actress yet. However, it must be said that she can kick some butt. Her action scenes were amazing. Kay Menon was wasted and his dialogs were ridiculously bad. He overacts and is unbearable as the chief villain here. Rati Agnihotri and Yograj Singh are good as Akshay's parents in the movie. They have their moments. The rest are functional.

The music composed by Sneha Khanwalkar is average. The Cinema Dekhe Mamma song was unnecessary and it's lyrics are crass. Singh and Kaur is a decent song with good beats but it is very repetitive and gets boring. Dil Kare Chu Che is okay and the dance moves by Akshay were funny. However, the song has silly lyrics and is nothing great. The only songs that I liked the most were Tung Tung Baje and Aaja Mahi. They were well shot and the tunes were catchy.

The action which I was looking forward to was not that good. A few of the kicks and punches were good but it was not that real. The action in Gabbar is Back(2015) was better. In addition, the action does not get along that well with Akshay's character. He did not know how to fight throughout the film and suddenly at the climax, he fights well.

On the whole, Singh is Bling is a below average film which has been loved by Akshay Kumar fans. It opened big at the box office but then came crashing down. In the end, it was an average at the box office.


Good Thriller
Bejoy Nambiar's WazirI2016) is crisp thriller which works well for the most part. The film has its flaws but the glitches are not big enough to call this film a letdown. In the Indian Film Industry, the thriller genre includes many films but only a few are noteworthy. Wazir is by no means a masterpiece but it is effectively crafted, superbly acted, and brilliantly edited.

One of the greatest things about Wazir is the fact that it wastes no time in setting up its characters. The introductions are kept short and the main story kicks in fast. It is good that the music is left to the background with no time wasted having the actors lip syncing any song. The film's editing is one of its main strengths. The editor has ensured that the film is not distracted by any unnecessary subplots. There are many well handled scenes like Daanish's meetings with Panditji, Daanish's scenes with his cop friend Sartaj, the final scenes of the film which properly reveal the shocking twist of the film.

Bejoy Nambier's direction is good because he has successfully made a thriller which has edge of the seat moments. He has made a thriller which includes good action sequences. He has done justice to the good script written by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi.

The music has been well composed. It includes hummable tracks like Tere Bin. However, the best track is Atrangi Yari which comes at the end of the film. It is superbly sung by Amitabh Bachchan.

The performances are a major pillar of strength for Wazir. Almost everyone does a good job. Amitabh Bachchan is a legendary actor for a solid reason. The veteran can slip into any character and do an extraordinary job. In Wazir, he slips into Panditji with ease and does really well. He also successfully gives the film some light moments through his scenes. It is very difficult to be so consistent in Bollywood but the Shehenshah of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan, has done it. Farhan Akhtar gives a brilliant performance in this film. He expresses the pain superbly. He does not overact even when he has to shout. Aditi Rao Hydari looks beautiful but has very little to do. However, she does best of what little she is required to do. Manav Kaul is adequate as the welfare minister. John Abraham has a few scenes and he supports well. Neil Nitin Mukesh tries hard but is not very effective.

On the whole, Wazir is a good thriller which is a much better watch than ridiculous Bollywood films like Singh is Bling(2015). It has been a while since Bollywood has created a good thriller. For Bollywood, 2016 has started on a good note and I hope that Airlift(2016) will be a good follow up.

Baarood (The Fire) - A Love Story

Dwand Yudh
Sunil Shetty was a big name in the 1990s but his solo action films started failing after the 1990s. In the 1990s period, he had several flops but he was able to give big solo hits like Anth (1994) and Gopi Kishan (1994). However, he changed his image and did more social dramas and better made films post 2000. However, there were still the typical action films like Aaghaz(2000)which failed to make a mark at the box office. However, there were certain times when Sunil Shetty had to leave some of his movies incomplete because they kept getting delayed. There were a few films which he lost interest in; he did not want to be a part of these insanely long delayed movies. Officer(2001) was probably one of the few delayed release for which Sunil did all the shooting and dubbing without leaving the project incomplete. However, there were a few long delayed movies like Dilruba (later titled Khanjar) and Dwand Yudh (later titled Barood) which Sunil did not want to associated anymore. He was probably sick and tired that these movies were not releasing and he must have cut his connections with these films completely.

Barood: The Fire (A Love Story) is one such insanely long delayed film. Sunil Shetty had abandoned this film after his scenes of the entire film was shot. As a result, the audiences get a half baked movie which is incomplete. To make matters worse, most actors did not dub for the film. The film was completely outdated when it released in 2012 and it flopped miserably. Barood is a very typical romantic action flick which would have flopped even if it had released on time in the 1990s. The plot and concept is typical and the handling is a new version of terrible. The film was incomplete so it does not even make sense. The film starts with Sunil's scenes and his love with Shilpa Shirodkar. The romance is seriously outdated and the action is poorly shot. Action scenes just randomly pop up and the makers fail to tell the typical story properly. Sunil Shetty disappears by the end of the movie and this make it even more cringe-worthy.

Direction by Jagdish Pandey is horrible. The one time director fails to effectively handle the typical romantic action movie. It feels like a movie where nothing makes proper sense; editing is completely missing which makes the film worse as scenes pop up randomly without any explanation.

Sunil Shetty is there for some odd 40 minutes throughout the movie. He gives a very ordinary performance and his dubbing by someone else is seriously bad. Sunil shot for the film in the early 1990s so this is one of his expressionless performances where he hams it up. The action scenes which are supposed to be a highlight in every Sunil Shetty film are completely nonsensical here. Shilpa Shirodkar is okay but her dubbing by someone else is seriously bad. Mukesh Khanna is the only actor with his voice and he does an average job. The rest are functional.

On the whole, Barood is a nonsensical film which is completely dysfunctional. The film has no proper editing which makes the typical movie seriously bad. The film was supposed to release in 1994 but did not release till 2012. This makes the entire concept in the film outdated even if the film was properly finished.


Ravi Dewan-Sunil Shetty combo fails big time
Sunil Shetty was a major action hero in the 1990s period but he is no longer the crowd puller of the 1990s. His cult action movies like Anth, Gopi Kishan, Rakshak, Krishna, Sapoot, Vinashak, and several more were commercial successes. Most of these films had action directed by Ravi Dewan. Ravi Dewan also directed the cult action film, Vinashak. However, the Ravi-Dewan-Sunil Shetty combo has failed to succeed.

Annarth is a typical action film in which cricketer Vinod Kambli tries to make a mark in Bollywood. However, very little (including Vinod Kambli) works in the movie. Annarth tries to show the Mumbai underworld but the entire movie is way too filmy and over the top. The movie is about gangsters, Jimmy and Raghav, in Mumbai. Raghav is a hardcore don while Jimmy is a golden hearted criminal. Jimmy disapproves of Raghav's methods and there is a great deal of bitterness among the two. Jimmy makes a friend in a bar called Sameer who doesn't seem to be what he poses as. Sameer later falls in love with his childhood friend Preeti. Sammer introduces Jimmy to his friend Bandya who later joins Raghav's gang. What follows are lots of predictable twists and turns; the only shocking twist is the sudden death of Jimmy right before the climax.

Direction by Ravi Dewan is a major disappointment; he has chosen a decent concept but he has failed to turn this concept into good cinema. The film keeps dragging and it gets boring after the interval. The worst thing is the fact that Sunil Shetty gets killed suddenly towards the end and Sanjay Dutt's character is made the central element. Sanjay Dutt's character itself is random and it wasn't required in the first place.

Sunil Shetty disappoints big time with his overacting but is still functional. He was a lot better in Vinashak but here, he fails to perform. I am a big fan of Sunil Shetty and he is usually good in any action movie but here he is not in his element. Ravi Dewan should have given him a better role and he should have been alive for the climax. Sanjay Dutt is alright in a stupid role. He is given the unnecessary importance in the climax but he manages to do alright. Gautam Rode is alright but Vinod Kambli is wasted badly. Ashutosh Rana is good but it's nothing new, he was a lot better in Dushman and Sangharsh. Preeti Jhangiani is pretty average.

Action directed by Ravi Dewan is average while none of the songs are memorable. On the whole, Annarth is a major disappointment. At the box office, it was a big flop; it was unable to recover its costs let alone making profits.


Could've been better
Pramod Chakravorty's Deedar was supposed to be Akshay Kumar's first release but Saugandh released first and turned out to be a flop. This film was expected to do great business because the promos rocked and the songs were hits but surprisingly, Deedar(1992) failed to make a mark at the box office. Akshay's hope was shattered and he was labelled as a flop actor. Moreover, he couldn't follow up the super success of Khiladi(1992) which released right before Deedar(1992). Furthermore, Akshay Kumar didn't get a hit till Waqt Hamara Hai(1993). In between, there were some okay films like Kayda Kanoon(1993) but they flopped sadly.

Deedar is a typical romantic comedy with action thrown in randomly at places. The film follows on the footsteps of Maine Pyaar Kiya(1989) but it succumbs to mediocrity in parts. The film starts of well and for once Akshay Kumar plays a rich guy who isn't facing too many hardships due to poverty. The love vs. hate relationship between Akshay and Karishma is good at first but it becomes repetitive and boring eventually. Karishma finally falls for Akshay and then the film is boring till the twist in the plot which shocks the audience. The following action scenes and the reason why Karishma couldn't marry Akshay and Akshay's fathers humiliation is all solved at the end. The end is typical but good. However, the film falls flat in front of MPK which was far better.

Direction by Pramod is good in parts and he does give Akshay a big break but I think that Akshay deserves better. He should've deserved a better film instead of this. Saugandh was equally bad but it had good action scenes and Akshay's introduction is very good in that film so it is better than this.

Akshay Kumar is the life of this otherwise boring film. He takes every average scene and lifts it due to his energy. The action scenes are very good. Despite being too raw, Akshay impresses. Karishma Kapoor is good but her shrieking is annoying. The supporting cast do a good job and the acting overall saves a film which would've fallen flat if the acting was bad.

Music is good and the title song was a big hit. It was literally Akshay's first hit song. The rest of the song like Tera Mera Mera Tera Sapna Hai are good too. Action is brilliant because it's realistic and raw like most movies from the 1990s when action wasn't as cheesy as the 80s and the South Remakes of Today.

Ghatak: Lethal

Pales in front of Ghayal and Damini
Ghatak was Sunny Deol's reunion with legendary director Rajkumar Santoshi who gave him 2 national award winning characters from the films Ghayal(1990) and Damini(1993). Ghatak was supposed to release in 1991 right after Ghayal but it got delayed and finally released in 1996 when the heroine, Meenaxi, had quit films.

Ghatak is the story of Kashi who comes to Bombay to treat his father's tuberculosis. They come to Bombay and live with Kashi's elder brother. As Kashi's father, Shambhunath's illness continues to grow, the local people in Bombay in the area Kashi lives in are being threatened by the goon Katya and his 7 brothers. Katya continues to terrorize the innocents and when Kashi challenges and humiliates him, he has Kashi's father humiliated in public by making his father a dog. The action drama gets way more serious when Kashi's father passes away and his brother gets killed by Jeena, one of the brothers of Katya. It is then that Kashi doesn't go by the rules of his father, the freedom fighter Shambhunath. Instead of driving Katya out using non violence, Kashi starts murdering his brothers. Watch the climax to see how Kashi avenges his brothers death and father's humiliation by murdering the sadistic Katya.

Direction by RKS is between excellent and good. He handles every emotional scene with perfection; he beautifully captures the relationship between Kashi and his father. Kashi breaking down with tears in the hospital, the light scenes before when the film starts and several other light and emotional scenes are brilliantly handled. The comedy isn't forced and it blends well with the movie. The film looses it's status of excellence when it goes over the top and tries to become a typical action film with loads of shouting. The film is still good but the typical elements and cringe worthy shouting in parts annoys and the film isn't any longer the excellent emotional film. Although the humiliation scenes are great, the threatening scenes are loud and they could've been less over the top. However, the action scenes are realistic and are a delight. The end is prolonged and the brutal beating of Katya does become irritating as it goes on and on. If the child of Kashi's brother didn't come to stop Kashi from hitting Katya after he died, I would've stopped watching the movie because it was too over the top and the action was no longer bearable at that point.

Sunny Deol does a brilliant job as Kashi and he is excellent in the emotional scenes. In terms of action. he is superb as usual but it is the emotional scenes that make him stand out more than his usual outstanding action. Amrish Puri as Sunny's father, Shambhunath, is superb and he won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for this fantastic performance. He makes everything from his pain to his humiliation look very natural. Unlike Puri's usual typical villain act, he is superb here. Meenaxi Sheshadri looks good and does a good job. Her dancing is good and her acting is superb especially in the frustration scenes. Danny Denzongpa repeats his villain act and does a damn good job. He gets some good moments and he makes the most of these opportunities. Om Puri has a very small role and he does good. Deep Dhillion and Mukesh Rishi do good as Danny's 2 brothers. The other 4 brothers do a good job. The rest provide good support.

On the whole, Ghatak works as an action entertainer and its emotional aspect as well as the father son relationship is the biggest plus point. However, the film does not live up to RKS's last blockbusters and despite being a big hit, Ghatak pales in front of Ghayal and Damini.


Could've been a hit
Sunil Shetty started his career with hit action film Balwaan(1992) which was a hit despite being an average film. Sunil had a very successful follow up with hit Waqt Hamara Hai(1993) and superhit Anth(1993). However, Sunil couldn't end the year with a bang because his last 1993 release, Pehchaan, failed at the box office despite a good opening. The film should've fared better but the massive drop in the film's collections in the first week ensured that the film wouldn't even break even.

Pehchaan(1993) had all the successful ingredients(in the 90s) to woo the single screen audiences and it was hyped up after Anth's massive success. What exactly went wrong with Pehchaan? The script was flawed, some things were hard to digest, and some of the performances were terrible.

Pehchaan(1993) tells the story of a judge Verma who is living a happily married life with his two sons Kunal and Karan and his wife. His wife is pregnant and the couple are expecting a young baby girl. Beena is about to tell this to Verma but she gets kidnapped from a family dinner party and is held captive by a convict, Yogi Shankar. It is revealed from the start that Yogi Shankar is a criminal who was sentenced by judge Verma during an earlier time. Yogi had sworn to avenge his humiliation and he has planed to molest Verma's wife and return her to Verma(this would be humiliation for the entire Verma family). When Yogi learns that Verma's wife is pregnant, he doesn't molest her. After several days, Verma meets his wife in a temple and it is here that Verma disowns his wife. He thinks that Yogi made his wife pregnant and this was his form of revenge. He even thinks that his wife was responsible for such a dreadful act and he abandons her. Due to this event, Verma gets a heart attack and he is paralyzed. Yogi takes the young baby girl and turns her into a prostitute and she is only told that her father is responsible for her mother's death. As time passes, Kunal grows up and is a rich businessman and Karan is a good for nothing. When Kunal comes to know that his sister is alive, he tries to get back with her. However, Tina doesn't want to see Kuna's face as he doesn't like any of her father's children as well. Will Kunal be able to bring Tina back to his father like he promised? Will Yogi cause more trouble to Verma family? To find out, watch Pehchaan.

The biggest problem with Pehchaan is the script which is engaging in several parts of the first half but completely falters till the climax. The execution is somewhat good but there is a lot of melodrama and this drags the film for an additional 50 minutes. The misunderstanding between Verma and his wife is hard to digest. Just because his wife is pregnant and he comes to know late doesn't mean that Yogi is responsible for this mess. The misunderstanding ruins the entire foundation the film is built on. Another problem is the comedy which isn't funny and the kissing scenes of Karan and his love which is crude. There is also one song which contains partially nudity and this song wasn't required. Another problem is Sunil's sudden appearance to save Saif and Madhoo from the villains in the climax. He is supposed to be in the hospital after he gets badly beaten up by the villains. How does he suddenly appear in shape to fight the villains? The crude content and the violence is what ensures that the film is passed with an A certificate(18+).

Direction by Deepak Shivdasani is good but the script lets him down to a large extent. He directs all the good moments of the script effectively but his direction falters during the melodrama and romance.

Sunil Shetty steals the show as the businessman and he stands out, this is one of his rare performances in the early 90s where he doesn't shout or cry(even when he is getting beaten up). Saif Ali Khan shines in a role he can play in his sleep. Kiran Kumar is good as the villain and for once, he doesn't constantly overact as the typical villain. Raza Murad has a few scenes and he is good but his death is not well explained in the movie. Shilpa Shirodkar is alright as Saif's girlfriend in the first half and wife in the first and second half. Madhoo overacts terribly in several scenes when she has to shout and express her anger to her brother. Avtaar Gill and Deep Dhillion support the film well with their small roles.

On the whole, Pehchaan is a flop movie which could've been better in terms of script and direction. With such good performances and such great action, one excepts a well handled story for a good action film overall.


Below Average Action Flick, similar to Hulchul(1995)
Ajay Devgan was another typical action hero who only received critical acclaim when he destroyed his action hero image by doing meaningful films like Zakhm(1998). This movie Jung(1996) is one of his below average action films.

Jung(1996) isn't a bad film but certain elements in the film don't let this film succeed to it's fullest. Firstly, the film is a typical action film with the good vs. evil theme so the film needs to have good performances, good direction, good editing etc. However, the film only partially succeeds as the film has it's share of flaws. The film also happens to be similar to Anees Bazmee's directional debut, the Ajay Devgan flop film Hulchul(1995). The only difference is that instead of Vinod Khanna, Mithun Chakraborty is playing the cop who is the elder relative of Ajay Devgan.

The film has some well handled scenes like the Ajay-Mithun scenes but they seem to be copied from Hulchul. In Hulchul, Vinod Khanna had similar dialogs and here too he opposes Ajay Devgan as he is a police officer and the law sentences based on evidence. The scenes involving Aditya Pancholi are bad because he terribly overacts as the good Ram and the bad Billa. There are some cheesy scenes like Ajay dressing like a girl and fighting goons. There are some extremely stupid scenes like the court one where Ajay Devgan is angry on Rambha and she comes into the court room and talks all romantic which is extremely unrealistic. Therefore, T Rama Rao's direction falters in parts. He fails to make this flick as good as his previous hit Mithun film called Raavan Raaj(1995) which was a bit flawed but handled much better than this. The climax is typical and the action in the mine shaft is stupid, it doesn't make any sense. The mine shaft is probably not even that big but the scene goes on for 10-15 minutes(a long shaft).

Mithun Chakraborty repeats his cop act which he did better in Raavan Raaj(1995). Here, his act is nothing great and his performance is adequate. Ajay Devgan repeats his Hulchul act and he does good again but this role is something he can do in his sleep. He does overact is some scenes. Rambha with a squeaky voice is bad and she was never a good actress in my opinion. The heroine playing Mithun's wife and Ajay's sister in law is OK. Sadashiv Amrapukar plays the same typical villain he has been playing since his debut. He only excelled as a villain in Sadak(1992) in my opinion. Aditya Pancholi is bad and he terribly overacts as Billa. As Ram, he is average. The rest of the cast provide decent support.

Stunts are average and the raw feeling of the action is missing. In fact, some of the stunts are cheesy. This was probably the time when those awful stunt directors like Rambo Rajkumar came to choreography action in Bollywood. Music is typical and none of the songs are memorable. Even Hulchul had some memorable tunes, Jung fails in this aspect too.

On the whole, Jung(1996) is a below average action flick which could've been better if it was better directed and if the performances were better.


A film that had great potential
Sunil Shetty had a fantastic year in 1997 with a big hit like Bhai(1997), and the critically acclaimed super hit Border(1997) but there were films that didn't let him fully succeed. Films like Dhaal(1997) and Judge Mujrim came and flopped. Dhaal had great potential but it was poorly handled in parts. Judge Mujrim(1997) also had great potential but too many unnecessary sub plots and terrible comedy ruined it. Prithvi(1997) had interested promos and parts of the film was great but there are some thing that are too hard to digest and the biased opinion of Americans is biased.

Prithvi is about an photographer Prithvi who makes a decent living with his current job. He starts taking pictures of a new model whom he starts loving. As a result, the first half is more of Prithvi's successful romance with this girl and his marriage with her. The film actually catches your attention when Prithvi gets a job offer in America but the constant bias gets irritating and not all Americans like to openly kiss their girlfriends and abuse other girls. The best scenes are when Prithvi's wife is missing and there is blood found in their hotel room. As a result, this romantic flick becomes a murder mystery flick with forced action. The mystery is decently solved but the end is stretched with action scenes hard to digest.

Direction by Nitin Manmohan is good in parts, he does handle the first half properly but it gets tedious after the first 40 minutes. The worst part is the comedy by Shakti Kapoor because it's silly and fails to evoke laughter. The second half gets more serious and some scenes are brilliantly handled. The scenes involving the cop are farce because the cops are shown as selfish and evil when this is not what typical American cops are like. The scenes where Shetty randomly fights people to save the life of this bar dancer is decent but it doesn't make sense in parts. How are there cops to misunderstand Shetty in one scene and in another scene cops never show up and there are so many explosions??? This is one thing that is extremely hard to digest as a part of the audience.

Sunil Shetty does a good job and the film is watchable only because of his brilliant performance. However, this role isn't a challenge for him, he impressed a lot more in Border. Shilpa Shetty puts up a decent act and her chemistry with Sunil is decent. Shakti Kapoor annoys and Shewta Menon only impresses with her sizzling dance number.

On the whole, Prithvi is one of those Sunil Shetty films which had great potential but some illogical scenes ruined the movie completely. I'd recommend this film only to Sunil Shetty fans like me and maybe a few people who wouldn't mind watching Sunil in a Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi type movie.


Toilet Humor Doesn't Always Work
After the success of critically and commercially successful Barfi(2012) and the blockbuster Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani(2013), Ranbir Kapoor returns with the much hyped Besharam. The film was hyped up mainly because it had Ranbir Kapoor and it was the return of Abhinav Kashyap(the director of Dabangg). Kashyap probably though that an action comedy with the new superstar Ranbir would give him a 100 crore hit. However, that doesn't seem possible because the film has completely nose dived after a 20 crore start on Wednesday.

Besharam is the story of a car thief who steals car for a living, he donates more than half of his money to the orphanage he was raised in. He is a very shameless person and you can see this based on the amount of Besharami in him. The film has so much slapstick humour and it tries really hard to make you laugh but it only succeeds partially. The love story between Babli and Tara is poorly handled, there is no chemistry between the lead pair. It is hard to digest the fact that a qualified and stubborn girl falls for a shameless boy because he helps her get her car back(the same one he stole from her). The only thing that works to an extent is the action scenes and the clash between Chandel and Babli. The end is predictable with an ending which is very similar to Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani(a much better film of Ranbir Kapoor).

Direction by Abhinav Kashyap is bad, this movies pales in front of Dabangg(2010) which wasn't novel but well handled and clap worthy. The initial scenes are good but the film's pace drops, there are too many songs in the first half, and there are many comedy scenes in the first half which fail to make you laugh. The biggest problem is the weak humour which fails to make you laugh in many parts. The scene where Ranbir takes his friend's socks out of his pants is just crude and the scene where he takes a bath is meant to make you laugh but it just doesn't work, it's silly, not funny.

Music is OK but there are way too many songs. The title song is the best while the song at the random wedding is average, the song in the car when they are going to Chandigarh is good while the rest are just fillers. However, the songs aren't placed properly.

Ranbir Kapoor is good but this genre doesn't suit him. He was much better in YJHD(2013) and most of his previous films. He does make you laugh in places and his expressions are good but this act is average compared to his natural charismatic act in YJHD and Barfi. Pallavi Sharda does a good job as a debutant, she does act like a stubborn girl but the chemistry between her and Ranbir isn't good, it's just weak. Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor do a decent job though some of their dialogs are crude and the toilet scenes of Rishi Kapoor are just silly and crude. This is the first time the Kapoor parents and their son Ranbir comes together but they fail to successfully steal the hearts of the audience. Javed Jaffery for once acts well and does well as the villain. The rest of the supporting cast has acted well.

On the whole, Besharam is another bad film which fails to succeed as an action comedy. Watch this film only for Ranbir's acting and the songs, and the heroine's acting. The film is a big disappointment and it probably won't do well at the box office, it might recover it's 60 crores cost. This means the film can be an average grosser at it's best.

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