The Legend of Michael Mishra

They say that the only thing constant in this world is change. This week's release THE LEGEND OF MICHAEL MISHRA sees its protagonist (Arshad Warsi) bring about a drastic change in his life. Will this 'change' bring about any results at the box-office or will the audiences remain indifferent towards the film, let's analyze.

The film starts off with FP aka Full Pant (Boman Irani), the owner of 'Michael Mishra Dhaba', telling a bunch of tourists about the 'legendary' greatness of Michael Mishra (Arshad Warsi). FP then, recalls the entire flashback incidents that transformed a simple tailor Michael Mishra into a 'tailor-made' Michael Mishra. FP states that, Michael Mishra, when on duty as a tailor, accidentally kills his customer. What follows after that are series of incidents that transforms the simple Michael Mishra into a dreaded don, who becomes a self confessed 'kidnapping specialist'. But when Michael Mishra ultimately finds his lady love Varsha 'Hello' Shukla (Aditi Rao Hydari) after years of incessant searching, he plans to change himself into a better human being, at her 'insistence'. The very moment he decides to change himself, he surrenders himself before the law, which then, punishes him with an imprisonment of a whopping 500 years, which, later, gets changed to lifetime imprisonment in a ruthless jail. Amidst all this, Michael Mishra's sidekick Half Pant (Kyroze Irani) stands by him like a rock. Does Michael Mishra ever muster the courage to tell those three magic words to Varsha Shukla, does Varsha Shukla selflessly tell Michael Mishra to change his lifestyle or is it more than what meets the eye is what forms the rest of the film.

The film's screenplay (Manish Jha) is extremely poor and immature in totality. One fails to decipher as to what exactly was the director planning to tell the audience through the film. Added to that, is the sub-standard story (Manish Jha, Radhakrishnan, Sneha Nihalani), which only goes to prove the adage that 'Too many cooks, spoil the broth'.

The film's director Manish Jha (who had made films like MATRUBHOOMI and ANWAR) lands up doing a shabby job with THE LEGEND OF MICHAEL MISHRA. Even the presence of a seasoned actor in the form of Arshad Warsi, was just not good enough to salvage the film from drowning. The film has a shaky start, and continues to wobble till the end. What really works in the favour of the film is the sudden twist (in the second half).

As far as the performances are concerned, Arshad Warsi disappoints the viewer with his performance. His disconnect with his part is pretty evident as the film progresses. Even though the director has infused many of Arshad Warsi's trademarked comedy and mannerisms, the sad part is that, all of this does nothing to the film. It lands up looking like a caricature and a parody of all his previous roles! Aditi Rao Hydari, knowingly or unknowingly, lands up looking totally outspaced in the entire film. Even though Kyroze Irani tries to do a 'Circuit' act, he fails miserably. Boman Irani, in a cameo is just about bearable.

While the film's music (Meet Bros Anjjan, Som-Raul, Abhinav Bansal, Rishi-Siddharth, Ujjwal-Nikhil) is pretty average, the background score (Rishi-Siddharth) is comparatively decent.

The film's cinematography (Manoj Soni) is decent. The film's editing (Nipun Ashok Gupta) also happens to be one of the villains of the film (the others being poor story and lacklustre screenplay, as told earlier).

On the whole, THE LEGEND OF MICHAEL MISHRA offers absolutely nothing new to the cine goers and has an extremely disjointed narrative. The film is bound to struggle at the box-office.
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Budhia Singh - Born To Run

Bollywood has seen many films that have been based on sports. While the majority of them were based on the game of cricket, a handful of them were based on other sports like boxing (MARY KOM), athletics (BHAAG MILKHA BHAAAG), football (GOAL), cycling (JO JEETA WOHI SIKANDAR), hockey (CHAK DE! INDIA), to name a few. This week's release is BUDHIA SINGH - BORN TO RUN, a film that's based on the sport of marathon running. Will BUDHIA SINGH - BORN TO RUN have a marathon run at the box-office or will it get 'disqualified' by the cinegoers, let's analyze.

The film starts off with a set up of the divine Puri in Bhubaneswar. It is there that the audiences are introduced to the 5 year old Budhia Singh (Mayur Patole), who gets sold off to a local merchant by his impoverished mother, for a mere Rs. 650. There enters the 'social entrepreneur' Biranchi Das (Manoj Bajpayee), who runs a judo coaching classes for the young orphaned children. When he gets to know about Budhia Singh being sold off to a man, he rescues Budhia Singh and convinces Budhia Singh's mother to allow him to be kept with him, while he gets her a job. Delivering a chance punishment to Budhia Singh, makes Biranchi Das discover the former's 'god-gifted' talent to run relentlessly without an ounce of tiredness. There after he starts coaching Budhia, with a sole aim of creating a world record. And when the news of Budhia's athletic talents reaches the media, he, not only becomes an overnight sensation, but also the toast of the entire Bhubaneswar state. Biranchi Das gets so very involved in coaching Budhia to become an international marathon star, that he (unintentionally) starts overlooking his own family. And when the non-stop achievements and the records created by the 5 year old Budhia reaches its pinnacle, the Child Welfare Board's committee members try to bring down Biranchi Das as well as Budhia Singh. What follows after that are a series of allegations that includes Biranchi Das' trying to exploit the childhood of Budhia Singh for his selfish motives, uncalled for dope tests being conducted on Budhia Singh, national unrest regarding Budhia Singh and a call for ban on Budhia Singh's running, which could mean an abrupt end to his flourishing career. What happens eventually of Budhia Singh and his career, coach Biranchi Das' dream of Budhia Singh win at the Olympics, is what forms the rest of the film.

The film's screenplay has been written by Soumendra Padhi, who also has doubled up as the film's director. Soumendra Padhi has penned the story of BUDHIA SINGH - BORN TO RUN with utmost simplicity and as much realism possible. Even though the film is based on a real life story, Soumendra Padhi has ensured it never gets slow.

Even though BUDHIA SINGH - BORN TO RUN is Soumendra Padhi's debut film, his past experience in directing short films, documentaries and music videos has come very really handy while directing this film for the big screen. His storytelling ability through the medium of celluloid is crisp and impeccable. It's a given that working with children is way different than working with grown-ups. The last time one saw such a spectacular performance from a kid was in TAARE ZAMEEN PAR. Full marks to Soumendra Padhi for having extracted a tremendously outstanding performance from Mayur Patole, the film's protagonist. While Soumendra Padhi has managed to set the film's pace with its first half, it's the film's second half that does miracles for the film. Do not miss the scenes of Budhia Singh's dope tests and his interaction with coach Biranchi Das in the sports hostel.

As for the performances, the film rides totally on the tender shoulders of Mayur Patole (who makes a remarkable debut with BUDHIA SINGH - BORN TO RUN) and the seasoned actor Manoj Bajpayee. Despite being young and raw, Mayur Patole carries the film like a well-trained and true professional. Right from the word go, Mayur Patole steals the heart of the audiences with his incredible performance in the film. The impact of his performance is so strong that, you tend to forget that he is an actor. Lending a rock solid support is Manoj Bajpayee, who delivers yet another memorable performance in his role of being Mayur Patole's (Budhia Singh) coach. The chemistry between the two is really heart touching. Their chemistry is something that needs to be seen in order to be believed. On the other hand, the other actors (esp. Tillotama Shome, Shruti Marathe, Chhaya Kadam) do a decent job and help taking film to move forward.

Even though the film's music (Sidhant Mathur, Ishaan Chhabra) is not remarkable, still it does not hamper the film in anyway. The music of the film is woven within the film's narrative in a beautiful manner. The film's background score is good.

Manoj Kumar Khatoi scores by doing a superlative job as the film's cinematographer. He has captured the entire sequence of the marathon running between Puri to Bhubaneswar in an extraordinary manner. The film's editing (Shivkumar V. Panicker) is decent.

On the whole, BUDHIA SINGH - BORN TO RUN, despite winning a national award and being a good film, has less awareness due to poor publicity and lesser star value. Due to this, BUDHIA SINGH - BORN TO RUN will face an uphill task at the box office. Overall, the film will have to rely heavily on word of mouth and strong audience support to post good box office figures. But if you are in the mood to watch an inspirational tale of human spirit, endurance and sacrifice, do watch this one.
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Suicide Squad English

Earlier this year we saw what happens when some of the best superheroes team up together to fight evil with the release of AVENGERS 2. Well now in SUICIDE SQUAD we see a different kind of union forming with some of the most notorious and deadly villains joining forcers against a larger evil that threatens to doom the human race. But will this band of unlikely anti-heroes manage to hold the audiences' attention the way the superheroes do, will they forsake their oath to help each other and escape their captors, or will they eventually emerge as a force of good to reckon with is what we analyse.

The film starts off in the aftermath of Superman's death, with intelligence operative Amanda Waller assembling a team of dangerous criminals - the deranged Harley Quinn; elite hit man Deadshot; pyrokinetic ex-gangster El Diablo; opportunistic thief Captain Boomerang; monstrous cannibal Killer Croc; and specialized mercenary Slipknot, placing them under command of Colonel Rick Flag, to be used as disposable assets in high-risk missions for the United States government. Each member has a small bomb implanted in their head, designed to detonate, if any member rebels against Flag. One of Waller's recruits is Flag's girlfriend, Dr. June Moone, an archaeologist who is possessed by a spirit witch known as "Enchantress" after touching a cursed idol, and who quickly spirals out of control, besieging Midway City with a horde of monsters and nesting on a subway station, where she forces a commuter to become the host for her brother, Incubus. Waller then deploys the squad to extract a high-profile mark from Midway, and Flag alerts them that Enchantress' heart must be cut out of her to regain control of her. Before the squad embarks on their mission, they are joined by Katana, a warrior who wields a mystic sword and acts as Flag's bodyguard. Harley's lover, the Joker, finds out about her predicament and tortures one of Waller's men into leading him to the facility where the nano bombs are made. The Joker has had the wife of one of the scientists involved in the program kidnapped to blackmail him into disabling Harley's bomb. In the meantime, the team who have fought their way to the location of the hideout learn that their mark is Waller herself, who is attempting to cover up her involvement. The squad escorts Waller to the rooftop for extraction, but the arriving helicopter has been hijacked by Joker and his men, who open fire on the squad and disable Harley's bomb, allowing her to climb aboard. However, the helicopter is shot down by Waller's men, and Harley jumps out while Joker seemingly perishes in the explosion, after which Harley rejoins the squad. Alerted to Waller's whereabouts, Enchantress' minions arrive and kidnap her. With Waller compromised, the squad decides to abandon the mission, while Flag chooses to continue. Realizing they have an opportunity to prove themselves, they soon join him and locate Enchantress and Waller at the partially flooded subway station. From here on begins the fight between the motley squad of one time villains against Enchantress and her brother. Will the Suicide Squad emerge victorious and prove themselves worthy of redemption or will they fall victim to Enchantress' visions and eventually wither away.

The film begins with each of the characters being introduced as Amanda Waller and Flag visit Belle Reve Penitentiary on a recruitment drive. Director David Ayer wastes no time in stretching out each introduction, instead he dives headlong into the throes of the film's story revealing parts of each character as the film progresses. Talking about progression, the film has a rather quick pace with plenty of action sequences every now and then. Though these sequences are well planned and executed, they do not come close to the ones we saw in previous superhero films. The film was planned to resemble a GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY or THE AVENGERS series especially with the action, story build up, and background but the viewer can't help but realize that the film falls short of being what was expected. Another moot point are the dialogues, the rather lame one liners that seem to be placed within each character's speech come across as pointless insertions made to be used in the trailer. Even the jokes are more often than not misplaced and just not worth a laugh. However, what works for the film is the CGI that is on par with some of the most extravagant visual experiences that we have seen in the recent past. This coupled with the high octane, bullets flying, swords-slashing action retains the viewer's attention for a while yet falls short of getting one hooked to the film. Characterization and development of the villains Enchantress and her brother Incubus are brilliant. Their look does give the viewer a feel of an ancient yet deadly power that has awoken in the 21st century to reclaim their position as gods.

Coming to the performances in SUICIDE SQUAD, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is much better than what she was in THE LEGEND OF TARZAN, however, unlike her appearance in the trailer which gave a feeling that she would most definitely be a central protagonist with more screen time she is more often than not resigned to playing a crazed girl visible on the fringe of the action. Will Smith as Deadshot does a decent job, however the makers' idea of giving his character emotional ties seems to lessen his overall menace as being one of the most feared assassins. Jared Leto is strictly OK for the amount of screen time he got, (spoiler) if you are looking a Joker playing a major/ integral part of the film, you are in for a let-down considering that he is present in the start and then towards the end. Joel Kinnamann as Rick Flag is convincing while Cara Delevingne as Enchantress is really good, her mannerisms and overall look does send a tingle down your spine.

Overall, SUICIDE SQUAD comes across as a film made for the DC Universe fans who in all likelihood will lap up the film. However if you are not one, the film will feel like multiple action sequences that have been strung together with a reasonable story line to form one feature film.
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Jason Bourne English

After the 2012 release THE BOURNE LEGACY, we see Matt Damon returning to reprise the role of Jason Bourne in the latest instalment in the Bourne franchise. Interestingly, the film will not only see Damon return as the central protagonist but will also feature director Paul Greengrass returning to helm the film. But will their return manage to revive the series that floundered in the previous film is what we are all set to analyse.

JASON BOURNE stars a decade after Bourne exposed Operation Blackbriar and disappeared, with him finally recovering from his amnesia and isolating himself from the world while making a living by taking part in illegal fighting rings. At the same time in Reykjavík, Nicky Parsons who has been collaborating with a hacktivist group, hacks into the CIA's mainframe server in order to expose the CIA's black ops programs. In the process, Parsons finds documents that concern Bourne's recruitment into Treadstone and his father's role in the program, and she decides to travel to Greece to find and inform him. Parsons' system intrusion alerts Heather Lee, the head of the CIA's cyber ops division, and CIA Director Robert Dewey. Parsons and Bourne meet in Greece, at the Syntagma Square in the midst of a violent anti-government protest. Though they evade the team sent to locate them, Parsons is killed by the Asset, an ex-Blackbriar assassin who also holds a personal grudge against Bourne, having been captured and tortured following the Blackbriar leak. Before she dies, Parsons is able to pass the key to a luggage locker that holds the CIA files on to Bourne. Intending to find the answers about his past and family, Bourne locates Dassault in Berlin in a bid to decrypt files that can help him find his way. Does Bourne finally get the details of his past that he has been searching for, will Lee manage to convince Bourne to re-enter the program, will Dewey manage to contain the situation and finally bump off Bourn, or will Bourne survive despite all odds is what forms the rest of the story.

Though nothing new can be expected from the story point of view, once again like the previous releases, JASON BOURNE follows Bourne as he hunts to find out his past that has evaded him till date. Matt Damon returning as Jason Bourne does have its share of charm, especially since Damon excelled in reprising the role of an amnesia stricken agent gone rogue. However, though Damon excels like before, he has visibly aged since the last time we saw him in this particular role, apart from that even the action sequences look similar to previous ones. From fist fights to car chase sequences, Damon and Greengrass have pulled out all the stops to recreate the Bourne feeling from the first three films. But this does little to keep the viewer gripped especially since it is nothing that they have not seen before.

Performance wise Damon is spot on, as well as the rest of the cast members. Tommy Lee Jones as CIA Director Robert Dewey, Alicia Vikander as Heather Lee and Vincent Cassel as the Asset are on cue. Talking about the action, though the sequences are well executed and thrilling to watch, they are nothing new. Another aspect is the fact that they are few and far between with much banter and set up going into the setup of each sequence. Save for these high octane sequences the film drags on with a cat and mouse game being played between the CIA and Bourne. Cinematography of the film by Barry Ackroyd is impressive with the bike chase sequences through the streets and by lanes.

On the whole, if you view JASON BOURNE as a standalone action flick it is pretty entertaining and makes for a good watch, but when compared to the previous films in the series, the film turns out to be just another run-of-the-mill Bourne flick.
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There have been many films in Bollywood that have been based on the game of cricket and match fixing. Films like JANNAT and the recently released AZHAR serve as testimony to the same. This week's release DISHOOM is an action comedy which also deals with cricket in its plot. Will DISHOOM hit a sixer at the Box-Office is the question of the hour... let's analyze.

DISHOOM starts off with a well-planned kidnapping of Indian cricket team's ace cricketer Viraj Sharma (Saqib Salim) by the dreaded Altaf (Rahul Dev), at the behest of Wagah (Akshaye Khanna) during a cricket series in the Middle East. The reason for Wagah to kidnap Viraj Sharma is to bail himself out of the Rs. 400 crore worth of debts that he has got himself into because of his match fixing deals going south. When the Indian government gets to know that Viraj Sharma has been kidnapped and that too, just 36 hours before the crucial and the much awaited India-Pakistan match, they decide to put their best police officer Kabir Shergill (John Abraham) on the job. Fearing national unrest and tension, they instruct Kabir Shergill not to utter a word to anyone about Viraj Sharma's kidnapping. When the news reaches the embassy of the Middle East, they immediately become ready to offer all kind of possible help to Kabir Shergill. That's when Kabir Shergill chooses the 'never-solved-any-case' police officer Junaid (Varun Dhawan), who is only way too happy to be chosen for the task of finding Viraj Sharma. What happens after that are a series of twists and turns, oodles of roller coaster ride and adventure tales of Kabir and Junaid and their parter in crime Ishika (Jacqueline Fernandez) who is a petty thief. Will Kabir Shergill be able to trace out Viraj Sharma before the India-Pakistan match, what role does Junaid play in tracing of Viraj Sharma and whose side is Ishika on and will she be of any help towards solving the mystery behind the kidnapping of India's key player is what forms the rest of the film.

First things first. DISHOOM's script (Rohit Dhawan, Tushar Hiranandani) is predictable, however the chemistry between the actors, especially during the comic scenes make for an entertaining watch.

As for the film's direction, Rohit Dhawan (whose last film was the John Abraham-Akshay Kumar starrer DESI BOYZ), has handled the entire proceedings of DISHOOM with extreme élan, style and panache. His efforts in mounting the film on such a large canvas pays off rich dividends. While Rohit Dhawan has ensured that the film's first half is crispy and tight, it's the film's second half that starts lagging midway, which, then, gets overshadowed by the breath taking action sequences. With DISHOOM, Rohit Dhawan proves his ability to handle big scale and glossy production with utmost comfort and ease. Though the film takes many creative liberties and some moments in the film don't seem justified, it doesn't fail to entertain.

As for the performances, the film rides essentially on the shoulders of the two men, viz., John Abraham and Varun Dhawan. John Abraham handles his character of being a no-nonsense tough guy with perfection. He is surely one of the best action heroes in the business. On the other hand, with every passing film, Varun Dhawan is slowly inching towards being a 'complete performer'. While Varun Dhawan exhibited his serious side in BADLAPUR, DISHOOM sees Varun Dhawan in a rather cute and comical avatar. The ease with which Varun Dhawan executes the comic scenes is extremely adorable and praiseworthy. Overall, Varun Dhawan excels in playing his character in the film with utmost conviction and confidence. Jacqueline Fernandez brings in the glamour quotient to the film and acts her part very well. It won't be wrong to say that DISHOOM sees Jacqueline Fernandez's exceptional improvement as an actress. Amidst everyone, DISHOOM also sees the big return of the seasoned actor Akshaye Khanna, who announces his comeback in Bollywood with a bang with this film. His sense of timing and dialogue delivery adds more glitter to the character that he plays in the film. Akshay Kumar, despite being cast in a cameo, charms in his part of a gay bad boy. Saqib Salim is effective. The rest of the cast help the film in moving forward. The film also sees cameos by Nargis Fakhri, Parineeti Chopra and cricketers like Javed Miandad, Mohinder Amarnath and Atul Wasan.

The film's music (Pritam) is peppy. Tracks like 'Sau Tarah Ke', 'Toh Dishoom' and 'Jaaneman Aah' are already blockbusters. The film's background score (Abhijit Vaghani) is brilliant and moves in tandem with the film's story and narrative.

The film has very impressive visuals and the person responsible for this is none other than the film's cinematographer Ayananka Bose. Full points to him for making the film look extremely glossy and high on glamour. The film's editing (Nitin Rokade, Ritesh Soni) is exceptionally crisp as the film's runtime is around 2 hours. A special mention to the film's stunt directors (Allan Amin, Stefan Richter) for shooting some breath taking action scenes in the film.

On the whole, DISHOOM has a predictable storyline. However, the engaging narrative, coupled with rich visuals and high octane action work in the favour of the film. Add to this the star power of John Abraham and Varun Dhawan which will definitely attract the youth. At the box office, the film faces no competion for next two weeks and hence it will ensure good returns to the makers.
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