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Housefull 2

A terrific comedy with super performances by Akshay and Mithun
Do you want to forget your worries for 2 1/2 hours? Do you wish to escape to a fantasy land full of entertainment? Do you want to laugh after every two minutes for two hours?

If your answer is yes to all of the above, and you relish Manmohan Desai type movies, Housefull 2 is your cup of tea. Forget pretensions of a pregnant wife seeking revenge against an armed terrorist (the implausible Kahaani) or selling boredom by copying a classic (Shanghai). Sajid Khan's latest offering does not even venture remotely to this territory.

The basic plot is known to all by now, I guess. A son (Shreyas) seeks revenge against his father's humiliation in the hands of a tycoon (Rishi Kapooor) due to a misunderstanding caused by a bumbling marriage bureau honcho (Chunkey) in London. He seeks the help of his friends Jolly (Riteish), Max (John) and Sunny (Akshay) with hilarious consequences. I will not spoil the fun by divulging anything more to you.

Despite some corny lines and one or two cheap scenes thrown in here and there, Sajid's "Housefull 2" is about a clean comedy overall. His trump card is Akshay Kumar. My god, I have no words to describe this man's performance. He is the best of the best. John does great and I believe he comes to his best with Akshay around. Riteish is splendid. Shreyas does well too. Of the veterans, Rishi and Mithun scores best followed by Randhir and Boman. Asin is the best among the lot although Zarine is the topmost in terms of looks among the ladies.

A fantastic movie with no strings attached, Housefull 2 is a loud, funny comedy. Waiting for Housefull 3 with bated breath.


Quite a good film marred by Bollywood conventions
I remember seeing a poster of this film as a kid back in 1995 that had a tough-looking Akshay twisting one of his legs around the neck of a baddie. That was enough to excite me. But it was not until 2011 that I was finally able to see it. I had little expectations but I was pleasantly surprised.

The movie is quite good by Bollywood standards. The entire movie has been styled in the form of an epic with the heroes being molded as modern-day Paandavas in the Kurukshetra that a crime-filled Mumbai has become. The main story revolves around a demoralized Inspector Vijay (Akshay, probably as a replacement for Big B who could not play young roles anymore) who tries to fight crime single-handedly. His ideals clash with his elder brother Ashwin (Mukesh Khanna) who is the ACP of Mumbai. Noetheless, Vijay has high respects for his brother.

The city is lorded over by two tough gang lords, KK (Kiran Kumar) and Daata. Vijay tries to stop these ruffians with brains and brawn only to uncover a dark secret about his family. I should not reveal the rest of the movie, which has several unexpected twists and turns.

Direction-wise,Raj Sippy is quite good here. But it is in the last 45 minutes of the movie that glaring loopholes start showing. An enormous amount of suspension of disbelief is required to take these sequences seriously. But the strong performances of the lead actors make up for the defects. This is '90s Bollywood and so you have to put up with clichés of those times like attempted rape scenes, songs appearing out of nowhere, implausible powers of both protagonists and antagonists and above all, villains meeting an extremely gory end. Speaking of villains, they are almost reduced to caricatures in the beginning. Though, KK turns in an extremely competent performance in the later half which makes you loathe him with all your heart.

However, the movie boasts of good enough dialogs that stay away from excess melodrama or patriotism. The writers have achieved the right balance and even incorporated modern terms for those times, such as "Mercy Killing".

Akshay is in top form here with restraint and subtlety in the confrontation scenes. Pankaj Dheer and Kiran Kumar are quite good too. Sadly, nothing much can be said about the others. Mukesh Khanna continues with his dramatics and the heroines are mainly there to look as glamorous dolls.

Music is very bad from Jatin Lalit with only the "Pyar Ka Bukhar" having a pleasing effect for the masses.

Overall, an average 90's movie that was a semi-hit at the box office. A tighter script, good music and more plausible storyline could have made this one a masterpiece. Hope a good director like Raj Kumar Santoshi remakes this with more credibility to the plot. Incidentally, Santoshi's "Khakee" (2004) seems to be inspired by this movie. But that was a lot better and can even be held as a modern classic.

My rating - 6/10. Watch this only if you like 90's movies. You won't be disappointed.


The worst Diwali release
Every Diwali, some cheap movie is thrown at us Bollywood buffs. Om Shanti Om, Saanwariya, Action Replay, Golmaal-3 etc. But the nonsense that Ra.One is makes all the above-mentioned films pale in comparison. When "Blue" released two Diwali back, everyone was criticizing it. Now I feel that was way better than which is a total flop movie.

Remember those Flash-Gordon and Star-Trek inspired soaps like "Captain Vyom" that had a gorgeous Milind Soman and tacky special effects trying to woo kids (and possibly women) in old DD days? Well, if you see Ra.One, you will remember those tacky effects once again. Yup, there are occasional VFXes on par with Hollywood movies. But that's all about it in this SRK crap-fest.

Which brings us to the star himself. Yes, he is no Soman and age clearly shows on his face. In fact, he has never looked so old before. Add to that the overacting that he has become a master of. You will get a neat idea about what is.

The rest of the cast were just about okay. Rampal is the best. Kareena looks lost, though amazingly beautiful in a hot way. The child artist is okay too. Music is pathetic with only Chammak Challo standing out. Overall, a horrible film that you should give a miss. I personally feel this is a trailer of what "Don-2" is going to be. One shudders to think of the promotion juggernaut that we have to suffer again from SRK (Seriously Retarded Khan). I lost hope after MNIK. I have seriously given up on him after Thank God I saw the movie on the internet.

Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai

A nice, refreshingly different love story
Boy meets girl. They fight. They fall in love and end up together after fights and misunderstandings. That is typical Bollywood love story for you. Which, fortunately, MKKH is not! Directed by Satish Kaushik, MKKH is a refreshingly different romantic story. The story centers on Karan (Tusshar) who is weak in studies but is good at heart. He helps friends and is good in music but is disinterested in studies. On a Diwali night, after being rebuked by his Dad (Dalip Tahil) for helping a friend in attempting to elope with a politician's daughter, he sees a girl for the first time on a road. He gets infatuated with this beautiful girl and would later come in contact with her. She is Pooja (Kareena).

Fate has Karan saving Pooja, almost dying in the attempt. Pooja and Karan become fast friends. Karan, who was already attracted to Pooja, falls madly in love with her. Despite repeated prods from friends and his sister (Rinkie Khanna), Karan fails to open up his heart to Pooja. One day, Pooja gets a chance to study in Harvard and off she has to go. Will Karan be ever able to tell her his feelings? A simple love story on the surface, MKKH has symbolic undertones that I guess very few can comprehend. On a Diwali night, the inner darkness of Karan is dispelled by the divinity in the form of Pooja, a bright student. It is also in a temple where fate brings him close to Pooja again. The point is clear, the divinity has plans to show Karan the true meaning of life through Pooja. Not for nothing does Karan feel that he has a timeless relationship with Pooja. It is actually divinity that touches Karan in the form of Pooja.

Slowly, Karan transforms into a responsible man. He becomes mature enough to place his lover's interests above himself. What happens in the end, will move any romantic. View it from the light I pointed out and you are bound to find a very different meaning altogether at the climax. It is not only a tale of love. It seemed to me also as a story of a young, irresponsible man trying to find a goal in his life. In his case, it is love that shows him the way.

Brilliant direction by Satish Kaushik with not one scene extra in the film and no excess KJo type emotions. Lilting music by Anu Malik. I particularly liked "Rabba Mere rabba", though other songs like the title track, "Maine koi Jadoo", "Jabse Dekha Hai", "Dupatta Mera" and "Pyar Re" are also great to listen to. "Rehna Hai" is also great. 10 years have passed and they frequently come back to my play-list.

Tusshar was nice as a newcomer. He was an excellent choice and the feeling you get of a mismatched couple when you watch him and Kareena together just makes it right for the film. Kareena seldom looked so beautiful and acted well, though she was a bit raw those days. Dalip, Amrish and the rest are first-rate too.

Overall, a nice movie that can give you a long, lingering smile that will come back every time you remember about the film. In my case, it does.

8 x 10 Tasveer

A different thriller that will keep you on the edge of the seat
Jai (Akshay Kumar) is a Canadian forest officer with an ability to see the past through photographs. When his father gets killed in a boat accident, he is informed about some foul play at work by a detective Habibullah Pasha (Javed Jaffrey). With the aid of a photograph clicked just moments before his father's death, Jai tries to find out whether his father met with an accidental death or whether he was killed? 8*10 Tasveer is one of Kuknoor's finest films that became a flop at the BO. But I am sure it will be regarded as a cult thriller in the years to come. A by-the-book thriller, it has the finesse of a Hollywood film. THe only flaw is the climax where the motive comes across as half-hearted without too much explanation about details. But if you have enjoyed Hollywood movies such as "The Ring" (2002), you will definitely love this movie.

Acting is solid here with Akshay coming up with a restrained and different performance. This is undoubtedly one of his best till date. Those who cringe at his comedies should check this out to know what a great actor he is turning out to be.

Akshay has been ably supported by the rest of the cast, including Jaffrey, Rushad Rana, Ayesha Takia, Girish Karnad, Anant Mahadevan and Benjamin Gilani. It was nice to watch Sharmila Tagore as AK's mother. Music was not good enough except for "Nazaara Hai". However, background score by Salim-Sulaiman is top-notch. Cinematography is excellent. My rating - 8/10.

My Name Is Khan

Over-hyped and a Big bore
The film is an example of how not to make a film. It is difficult to start discussion about this film as almost everything is laughable. The plot, the absurd climax, the theory of a normal woman marrying a mentally retarded salesman and the man going to save Georgians from a hurricane.

Direction is hilarious, unintentional of course. Karan Johar, please stick to formulaic nonsense. Serious cinema becomes non-serious in your hands.

But it is SRK who takes the cake. An institution of horrible acting skills nowadays, the man simply shocks you with his overacting. One wonders whether it was this man who gave us the intense Baazigar, Pardes and Karan Arjun? The man has clearly lost it. Kajol is at her loudest best. Enough said.

However, the little boy who plays the kid Khan was very good. Music by SEL is also top-notch with "Sajda", "Tere Naina" and "Noor-e-khuda" being the stand-out compositions.

My rating? Don't even ask about it.


A classic thriller that you can watch anytime
I saw this film as a child and loved it. This is rarely shown on TV nowadays but I wanted to catch it up. So I downloaded the movie from the net and man! I loved every bit of this tense thriller.

The story is of a young man Ravi (Amitabh) who suffers from repeated seizures. He comes to know of his brain tumor. His doctor says that an operation can save his life but has high risk of paralyzing his physical or mental capabilities. With only 6 months to live, Ravi hatches a plan that can lead him to the gallows but earn him a princely sum that can take care of his widowed mother, wheelchair-bound sister (Farida Jalal) and a kid brother. He confesses to having killed a rich man and maneuvers a way that will make the prize money go to his family members.

Ravi's plan works out and he is sentenced a death penalty. A month after wards, he has a seizure in jail and passes out. The doctors operate on his tumor and remove it successfully. But then, Ravi knows that he is not destined to live too long. With little assurance from his lawyer friend, Ravi escapes from hospital and with the help of his sweetheart (Parveen Babi), sets out to catch the real killer and prove his innocence. In the way, he comes across a stranger (Pran) who might be the real killer.

Four things stand out in Majboor.

The terrific direction of Ravi Tandon. The man has ably directed the film minus the clichés and emotional drama that marked many of the '70s Hindi films. Direction is taut and to the point with little scope for nonsense. The breathtaking climax only shows how capable Tandon is as a director.

The story, script and dialogs by Salim-Javed are other high points. Minus the stereotypes, the film is flawless and shows emotions without any excess.

Big B. Yes, how could we forget the MAN, the institution who has redefined Hindi cinema with his natural acting? Watch out for his seizure scenes and his confrontation with Macmohan in the curio shop. The man is in terrific form here and ably shows the anguish, grief and Majboori (compulsion) of a man who has become a victim of fate.

Pran. Yes, I have always felt that the man comes at his best with Bachchan by his side and he again proves that here. Watch the climax and you will agree why he deserves to be called the real hero of Majboor.

Among the rest of the cast, everyone is good. Be it the amazingly beautiful Parveen Babi, the cute Farida Jalal or the smart Iftekhar (in yet another cop role), everyone is at his or her best.

Go watch "Majboor". This is one terrific thriller that was successful at the BO but did not get the recognition of a Zanjeer or a Deewar (probably because Big B was not given too much heroism to show here). However, it deserves to be watched again and again. A good whodunit and a classic thriller.

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