Friday, 16 September 2016

PINK MOVIE REVIEW

When you have the brand name of Shoojit Sircar attached to your film, it brings in an additional responsibility of living up to the sky high standards set by Shoojit and writer Juhi Chaturvedi. So, does this Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury directed film deliver on its promises? Let’s find out!

The first hour of the film is absolutely terrific. Without delving much into the details of the storyline, let’s just say the makers do an excellent job of sustaining a palpable sense of danger looming large and it’s all so neatly captured in the characters’ quotidian activities with a rock-solid screenplay, hard-hitting dialogues and a haunting background score (along the lines of last year’s marginally superior NH10!!). Much of this credit goes to the spot-on casting and gritty writing which creates real flesh and blood characters with relatively lesser known faces whom each of us can instantly relate to. My favourite scene is the one where Tapsee Pannu goes along with her friend to register a complaint of molestation and the officer on duty cheekily advises her against doing so. It’s a simple but effective scene and packs a punch with all the dark humor and harsh truth wrapped inside it. Also, a loud shout-out to Vijay Verma and Kirti Kulhari for their frighteningly fine performances!!

Alas, like so many other films, Pink, too, can’t seem to escape "The Curse of the Second Half". The film, from here on, nosedives into a humdrum courtroom drama where everyone from the hammy Piyush Mishra to the ostensibly disinterested Amitabh Bachchan rely on theatrics to drive home the film’s message. Perhaps, the makers were busy patting their own backs for not taking the tried and tested sermonizing route of singling out women as the sole victim in such cases and also be unapologetic and less moralistic about their mannerisms such as dressing style, drinking habits, etc. Agreed, it’s a noble thought, but it all comes off as so contrived, labored and bereft of the grit and razor sharp dialogue witnessed in the first half, that you wonder if it was the same person directing the second half.

Amitabh Bachchan’s character is probably the weakest link in the film and it’s not surprising that the maverick septuagenarian can’t seem to get under the skin of advocate Deepak Sehgal, because of his inherently vague nature. This is particularly unfortunate because Amitabh was so good as the eternally constipated Bhashkor Banerjee in last year’s Piku, the brainchild of the same production house as Pink. Still, we get a glimpse of the actor’s unmissable charisma in the final act of the film where the perpetrators are finally brought to book.

I’m going with 3/5 for Pink. In color psychology, pink refers to a sign of hope. Given the ordeals we have been put through over the past few months, the film does, indeed, emerge as a ray of hope. It may not be a fully satisfying film, but the merits definitely outweigh the flaws. Recommended!

Friday, 9 September 2016

BAAR BAAR DEKHO MOVIE REVIEW

Bottomline : Even while most of the Hindi films, this year, have fallen well below expectations, Baar Baar Dekho heralds the fact that the worst is yet to come. Touted as a “high on concept” love story, the film also serves as a reminder that Bollywood still isn’t ready to carve out even a merely engaging time travel story, forget creating a satisfying one.

Review: Is it wrong to expect a mature, poignant film from someone who has remained the assistant director of Farhan Akhtar, the genius who gave us the evergreen Dil Chahta Hain? Or am I being too na├»ve going in the cinema hall hoping to witness a genuine, heartfelt love story involving two good-looking leads and some pretty hummable songs? Debutante director Nitya Mehra answers these questions with a big YES. It is all the more frustrating because Baar Baar Dekho does come in with a promising premise which could have easily translated into an enjoyable film, but not only does it lack the confident and deft hand to tackle such a concept, it also suffers from a predictable and painfully linear screenplay. It also doesn’t help that the dialogues are laughably stupid and performances nothing worth mentioning, because the dull and hollow script hardly leaves them any elbow room to showcase their talent. In fact, with all the hooting and scornful remarks passed in the theater, few portions of Baar Baar Dekho reminded me of another evergreen film, Roy (evergreen for different reasons, of course). The truth is that, however noble the intentions of the film are, it is executed in such an unimaginative manner that it negates all its merits. 

In closing (Yes, I’ve wrapped up my review pretty soon this time!), I’m going with 1.5/5 for Baar Baar Dekho. I read in an interview recently that Katrina Kaif broke down during the narration of the script. As the end credits rolled, I broke down too, only because I knew I wasn’t getting my time and money back. How I wish I had the power to travel back in time like Siddharth Malhotra and undo these 2 hours of my life.