Tuesday, 21 July 2015


Bottom line : The aptly and powerfully titled Bajrangi Bhaijaan, with all its flaws and melodrama, still stands as a film with noble intentions with its heart in the right place and a terrific performance by the cute little Harshali Malhotra.

Review : Director Kabir Khan, like all his films so far, has yet again set his story against the strained relations between India and Pakistan. But Bajrangi Bhaijaan, amongst other sub-plots, is a tale of love which drives an Indian to go the full hog and send a displaced Pakistani girl back to her home soil.

The loopholes in the script are too many and while it is evident that the director seems hell bent on squeezing a lump out of your throat, he goes overboard in the last 5 minutes of the film in a scene which bears resemblance to the far-superior Taare Zameen Par. Perhaps, it wouldn't have done Kabir Khan any harm to learn a few lessons from Aamir Khan. But where Kabir Khan scores high is the genuinely sweet and heart-warming bond the two protagonists, Bajrangi and Shahida, share. Your heart pours out just to the sight of Bajrangi carrying Shahida on his shoulders like a fatherly figure and this is the only reason why Bajrangi Bhaijaan is fun to watch, even if in parts.

Salman Khan has delivered a calculated and measured performance minus the shirt-opening and mindless action scenes, which surprisingly comes off as pretty effective. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is brilliant and has yet again shown how to hold one's own even against a man of Salman Khan's stature. The three of them together give us some of the best moments of the film. The real star of the film, however, is Harshali Malhotra. She conveys volumes through her eyes without ever uttering a word. And while it is undoubtedly hard to resist her cuteness, one cannot deny she is a good actor too.

 I'm going with 3/5 for Bajrangi Bhaijaan. It is a far-from-perfect film which despite its far-fetched scenarios, works to a certain extent because of its inherent sincerity. Make sure you carry a box of tissue papers along for the film.

Monday, 13 July 2015


Bottomline : Beautifully shot, well acted and competently directed, Rajamouli's latest flick adds yet another feather to his cap of respectable films. And with Bahubali, he takes Telugu cinema to a different level altogether. A crowd-pleaser all the way!

Review: Right from the opening scene, it becomes conspicuous that you're in for a visual treat. From the tropical landscapes of Avatar to the battlefield of the Lord of the Rings, Bahubali may appear similar to those films but Rajamouli keeps it original and riveting for most part. It's amazing to see how he manages to strike a chord with the viewers even in the most cliched of scenes we are used to seeing in films nowadays. He doesn't weigh down the film by heavy-handed direction and keeps it engaging throughout by a masterful balance between the classy and massy elements. The story was never really the strength of the film but he still rises up to the Herculean task of creating something extraordinary out of the ordinary and succeeds to a great extent. Take that scene prior to intermission, where a mammoth statue of Rana is being erected as the people exuberantly chant Bahubali's name. It's the film's best directed scene where a feverish energy transpires through the screen and I wished I knew how to whistle out loud. To be honest, the film has its share of obstacles. The romantic track between Prabhas and Tamannah is the film's weakest link, not least because of Tamannah's cartoonish performance.

Prabhas and Rana have unmatchable personalities that nicely complement their acting skills and it's hard to imagine anybody else in their shoes. Just watch how they steal the show during the roughly 30-minute battle-scene in the film's climax. Other actors like Anushka and Ramya Krishnan do a fine job too in small but effective roles.

I'm going with 3.5/5 and two big thumbs up for Bahubali. For the director's sheer conviction and vision, he deserves a huge round of applause. It's a film you really shouldn't miss.