ashu-modi

IMDb member since October 2011
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    IMDb Member
    9 years

Reviews

Don 2
(2011)

Weak script, loads of hamming, good action scenes: That's Don 2 for you
I liked Don: both the Amitabh one and Farhan's interpretation of his dad's plot. But, sorry to say, Don 2 was a quite a big let down. Come on Farhan, its time to pull up your socks. What happened to the writer / director of Dil Chahta Hai and Lakshya?

Anyways, apart from the slick action set pieces and beautiful cinematography, the flick leaves a lot to be desired.

Plastic surgery nose and lips PC is like an unnecessary piece of furniture in the scheme of things. SRK is his usual hamming self, you've seen him once, you've seen it all. Boman Irani and Kunal Kapoor are grossly underutilized. And there is the mandatory cabaret song with Lara Dutta, who too seems like an unwanted appendage to the anatomy of the film.

***Spoiler ahead***

Plot: Five years after conning PC and the rest of the CBI team, SRK is now the undisputed king of the Asian underworld: though why he goes to deals himself is utterly beyond my comprehension. He wants to expand into the European market, where the current princes decide to kill him. But of course Don escapes and surrenders to the police in line with a plan that counts on a series of long shots happening. He is sentenced to be hanged and meets Bardhan (Boman Irani) in the prison who also intends to kill him. Once again SRK foils the attempt and convinces Boman to join him in escaping the jail. After this escape, they blackmail the VP of a bank in order to get the plates used to print Euro 20 and 50 notes from the bank's vault: very Mission Impossiblish... The VP hires a team of goons to kill SRK and the plot is foiled again. Instead, the goon and his team joins SRK who has recruited a hacker (Kunal Kapoor) to hack into the bank's systems. Bardhan tells the goons that SRK ultimately aims to escape alone and that they should join him instead and get rid of the Don one they have the plates in their possession. Boman gets into the bank impersonating an Interpol officer, SRK in the trunk of the VP's car and KK in a van disguised as an armored truck. The goons are in a fire truck. SRK sets off an explosion that ensures that the fire department is called to the venue. The goons, dressed as firefighters, take 25 employees as hostages and demand a chopper for an escape. SRK, seems he doesn't believe in delegation, gets into the vault and steals the plates. The goons turn on him and KK creates a diversion in which SRK escapes the vault and the bank vide a manhole like contraption, though only the architect should know why a manhole would be created right in the basement of such a secure building. KK has a turn of heart and calls PC and the German Police who arrest SRK. SRK again blackmails the bank's VP in setting up immunity for him in return for taking the police into the bank through the route he used to escape because the police never had the presence of mind to ask for the blueprints which I believe should be one of the first actions for a HRT in such a situation. To cut a long story short, SRK kills the baddies, cripples Boman and saves PC and the hostages in exchange for the immunity. The VP takes the plates in his possession and while driving back, his car is blown up and the plates believed to be destroyed. The information that SRK has shared with the police contains details of the European cartel which is then arrested. The climax reveals that this was all a plan: KK's change of heart, the arrest of the cartel's members and the death of the VP. SRK now has the original plates: the ones with the VP in the crash were fakes and he is a free man, rid of the competition in Europe.

*** End of Spoiler***

The story is not very slick, though it may sound so in the summary: translated to mean it would have been better if the film was 90 minutes instead of the 140 minutes running time. That's 50 minutes too much. The action pieces, especially the car chase is good but are not woven well into the story. The story itself seems to emulate the Guy Ritchie kind of flicks. The dialog is generally cheesy if not downright yucky: the one-liners seem aimed towards pleasing the masses, and do not, in any way, add to the storyline. Especially the ones in which SRK refers to his character in the 3rd person.

Verdict: Could have been a lot better with some editing and some less hamming.

5 stars for the cinematography and the attempt to write a good thriller. Its not an action flick: its a heist film.

Ra.One
(2011)

A confused mishmash of formulae
From the time that the credits roll on to the screen (Thanks to Shahenshah Amitabh, Superstar Rajnikanth and hugs to Sanjay Dutt & Priyanka Chopra), one gets the feeling that the movie is an indulgence in the exercise of 'I scratch your back and you scratch mine' and not the self proclaimed revolution in Hindi film making.

It is a confused mishmash of the same formulae that have been used in the Hindi film industry for all these years with some early 90s style Hollywood special effects thrown in. Somebody needs to tell the director Anubhav Sinha and the producer/actor Shah Rukh Khan that one cannot and should not try to please all the people in the audience, else the end result is exactly what they served: a movie that feels forced and stale

Story: By now, all who are remotely interested in this movie know about the story. It is the weakest link in the entire setup. The entire writer's union (even SRK has been credited with contributing to something that amounts to nothing) couldn't decide whether this needs to be a sci-fi, superhero, romance, children or an action flick. Some of the outstanding moments (scenes where I nearly stood outside the theater)are:

1. A press conference at the start where the audience is dumb as it believes the crap that Ms. Reddy dishes out about technology

2. The moment when the antagonist steps out of the game - no explanation on how the game developed an intelligence on its own or how it could move into the physical world in a suit that obviously does not have even a millionth of the processing power or storage capacity needed for such a complicated being to function

3. The superhero's entry - again, no idea how it came into being in the physical world. And how the hell did Ms. Reddy (who seems more like a marketing executive) figure out what the lead game designer / team leader SRK could not

4. How was Kareena able to keep her husband's death a secret from the neighbours in India? These days when even a burp is reported on the Facebook and/or Tweeted around the world, it seems highly unlikely

5. Why the hell did the robot have to run along the side of the train when running on the top would have been the fastest way to the motorman's cabin?

Frankly, the entire story leaves a lot to be desired

Influences: 1. Poster inspired from Batman Begins 2. The story inspired from Judgement Day (robot saves mother and son from another robot), The Last Action Hero (characters from imaginary world stepping out into the real world), Tron (gaming world characters vs real world characters), Kalicharan (father dies, someone replaces him to protect family), Iron Man (the concept of H.A.R.T. is the same as the arc reactor), Millennium Man (a robot learning about emotions) 3. Scenes inspired from Spiderman series, Batman series, Terminator series, Iron Man series, Rajni's Robot, whew 4. The best moment in the film for me was when the film's shooting was at the factory featured on Pink Floyd's Animals'cover. The only issue is it didn't look half as beautiful

Acting: the less said the better

Overall: Watch at your own risk

SRK may have recovered his investment but he has to remember that he may fool some of the people all the time, all the people some of the time, but he can't fool all the people all the time with his over-the-top marketing gimmicks

P.S. the much vaunted Rajnikanth special appearance seems like its airbrushed on to the reel

Andaz Apna Apna
(1994)

A must watch for any Indian film buff
Before Aamir had his 3 Idiots, Salman had Dabbang, before Paresh Rawal became the King of Bollywood comedies ala Heri Pheri, before Karishma dropped the 'h' (and the Hindi film industry dropped her) to become Karisma and Raveena was the Mast Mast girl, there was Andaz Apna Apna.

This is one of the best movies to have come out of the Indian film industry post the new age cinema wave of the 70s. After the dime-a-dozen masala potboilers of the 80s (not to take away anything from the films of that decade: different times, different sensibilities) Andaz Apna Apna was like a breath of fresh air. The antics of the entire cast leaves the viewers in splits. The comedy might be a bit slapstick and the editing a bit shoddy, but the performances seem at ease. I remember watching this movie in the theater: the laughter never died: it was one gag after the other.

Even after all these years, I remember all the dialogues in the movie. And like another all time great Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, this movie does come up for discussion each time my friends and I watch any new comedy to come out of the Hindi film industry, serving as a benchmark.

P.S. I have watched the movie at least 15 times :)

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