Ungli Movie Review - Full Hand...
Remember all those Robin Hood kind of films from the 70's and the 80's era, where the hero used to steal from the rich and share it with the poor. Right from the 'Jugnu' days till recent films like 'Kick', our Hindi cinema audience has always loved those films where the hero tries to take the law in his own hands not for personal vendetta, but for solving the common man's problem. Also, in the recent times we also did witness films where a group of people in order to prove their point against the corrupt system take some staunch actions. Films like 'Rang De Basanti', 'A Wednesday' and a few more have been the pioneer in such types of films and thus one does have high expectations with a film like 'Ungli', as its directed by Rensil D'Silva, the same person who wrote 'Rang De Basanti'. So lets find out whether this combination of Robin Hood type of concept and group of people fighting against corruption will create a new trend in our Hindi cinema or this movie too, might be one of those type of film, where except for the unique concept there is nothing more attached to the film.
'Ungli' film is a story about a masked group who call themselves as 'The Ungli Gang', which consist of Abhay (Randeep Hooda), Maya (Kangana Ranaut), Gautam (Niel Bhoopalam) and Kalim (Angad Bedi). Together they teach a lesson to all the corrupt people who have been harassing the common man. Their gang gets a new entrant Nikhil (Emraan Hashmi), who also wants to punish this corrupt and selfish society. On the other side ACP Kale (Sanjay Dutt) has been assigned the task of nabbing this gang. How does ACP Kale lay his trap, so that he can catch the so called criminals is what the entire film is all about.
The story has minor inspiration from Robin Hood style of films and has a strong undercurrent of 'Rang De Basanti' going along with it. Also, one might remember films like 'Donnie Brasco' or The Departed' as the basic plot line of 'Ungli' does somewhere match with it. Though, the screenplay writers narrate their tale in a fast paced manner with some remarkable scenes like the starting scene where the gang starts their first operation, followed by the graphic titles, the gang teaching lesson to the driving inspector, Sanjay Dutt-Emraan Hashmi talk at the bar, Emraan's lesson to the auto rickshaw drivers followed by the Arunoday Singh's track, the gang making traffic cops eat money, Sanjay Dutt's final plan and many more. Almost all the operations lead by the Ungli gang are enjoyable, but in between these operations, the movie starts to wobble as the basic connect and the soul of the film is somewhat missing. You do not feel for the characters nor find the punishments practical, but in the cinematic manner will enjoy the solutions shown in the film, especially the final twenty minutes of the film which is totally entertaining. If those scenes would have not been in the film, the movie would have ended on a disappointing note. The camera work is fine as per the flow of the film.
The music fails to be the part of the narrative screenplay, but are enjoyable. 'Dance Basanti' is superb and one will love to see the sizzling chemistry between Emraan Hashmi and Shraddha Kapoor. 'Pakeezah' is soothing and the theme song goes with the flow of the film.
It would have been a great relief for the director Renzil D'Silva as the movie finally got released after a long delay. The movie does not look outdated and even after so many years, connect with us on the content level. He narrates the tale in a sweet and entertaining manner, focusing on the small but essential problems of a common man. If only he would have added more depth to his lead characters and the issues the end results would have been outstanding.
It was good to see Sanjay Dutt in a decent and impactful role after a long time. Emraan Hashmi and Randeep Hooda portray their part with total conviction. Kangana Ranaut hardly had anything to offer and after watching her outstanding performance in Queen, its painful to see her in such minuscule role. Neil Bhoopalam and Angad Bedi lend good support. Neha Dhupia, Raza Murad, Mahesh Manjrekar, Reema Lagoo were wasted. Arunoday Singh was fine in his part. Shraddha Kapoor looked outstanding in her special appearance.Final Verdict: So bol meri "FILMI KHOPDI" iss film mein kitna hain Dum?
Dum? Well, 'Ungli' is a decent film with good concept presented in an entertaining manner. Its not as great as films like 'Rang De Basanti' or 'A Wednesday', but is far better and enjoyable then the recent films made under the same theme line. If we consider 'Ungli' movie as a poker game between a common man and the corruption, it ends up getting a full hand consisting of good concept, crisp direction, razor swift dialogues and decent performances by the lead actors.Ratings : 3.5/5
Zid Movie Review - Bhatt styled Erotic Thriller Clone...
There was a time when the Bhatt brothers (Mahesh and Mukesh) were known for making some good dramatic films followed by musical hits in the 90's. They revamped their style with the millennium era and started focusing on erotic thrillers with good music attached to it. Though, most of their films were highly inspired by the international films and were even presented in the same style. Audiences loved these short and entertaining films which kept them engaged for a short while and thus the films ended up being successful at the box office. The success was noticed widely and thus many other film makers started following the same route and churned out many hit films like 'Hate Story', etc. which were made under the same type of genre. The latest to join the bandwagon is 'Zid' which has been made by Vivek Agnihotri, who also happens to be director of 'Hate Story'. Sadly, many of these clone types of films failed to match up to the expectation levels and ended up titillating its targeted audience. So let's find out whether 'Zid' will give us another out and out erotic thriller, which will cater the college going youngsters and single screen frontbenchers or might be among all those films which are only made to cash in over the titillating poster or the promo attached to it.
'Zid' is the story of a crime reporter Rohan (Karanvir Sharma) who shifts to a remote place in Goa, where he befriends his neighbor Maya (Mannara). Maya falls in love with Rohan and is totally obsessed with him. One night while returning from a party Rohan accidently hits a girl, who is later on found dead. The girl turns out to be the sister of Rohan's ex-girlfriend Priya (Shraddha Das). The cops start their investigation and what happens next is what the entire film is all about.Screenplay & Technicalities:
The story reminds you of many Bhatt camp types of films with strong influence of some Hollywood type of films. The basic plot line is interesting and has a good amount of curiosity attached to it, but the whole efforts go in vain as the narrative part is super slow and dragging. The makers try to introduce many unnecessary scenes in the initial part of the film and in the later part all the lead actors scream and screech to their fullest. The movie is predictable from the first scene and to show some smartness, they finish up the film with a big twist, which lacks the conviction factor. If only the movie had some good screenplay and better presented climax the end results would have been far more encouraging. The camera work is good, but after a whole one does start to feel claustrophobic watching the never ending rain, forest house, blackouts and many more typical shots.Music & Direction:
Music by Sharib Toshi is good and songs like 'Tu Zaroori', 'Saanson Ko' and 'Mareez E Ishq' are enjoyable. They have good visual content and this gel with the flow of the film. The title track on the other hand lacks the hunting factor.
Director Vivek Agnihotri is known for various reasons and one of them is for making a good thriller named 'Chocolate', which was also inspired by a popular Hollywood flick. He is also known for making a bold film known as 'Hate Story' along with internationally acclaimed film 'Buddha In A Traffic Jam'. With such vast diverse direction sense, he returns back in the genre of 'Hate Story' and fails to do proper justice to it. The forced thriller part fails to connect with its audience due to weak set up and slow narration. If only he would have worked more on the thriller portions the movie could would have been a good thriller for sure. As even the erotica seemed forced and bland.Performances:
Karanvir Sharma makes a decent debut and looks promising. Except in the emotional and over dramatic scenes where he fails to act. Mannara looks like a healthier version of her cousin Parineeti Chopra and lacks the oomph factor. Shraddha Das was fine in her part. Sadly, all three main actors scream and screech a lot in the film. Mohan Kapoor and others lend good support.
Dum? Well, the movie has only dum in some good songs and the whole curiosity attached to the film. Besides that there is nothing new or entertaining in this slow and done to death themed film. Due to which this movie, despite of being a product of a good production house, ends up being a weak Bhatt type of erotic thriller films clone.Ratings : 1/5
ZID starts off with a flashback which has the film's protagonist Rohan (Karanvir Sharma), who is a crime reporter by profession, narrating an incident to his newspaper's editor (Mohan Kapoor) and the area's DSP (Deputy Superintendent of Police). He says that with the help of the editor, he found a rented house at his friend's outhouse. Even though the said place looks haunted, Rohan still adjusts himself to the situation despite having 'an absolute motionless and emotionless owner' who is wheel chair driven throughout and who also happens to be the father of Maya (debutante Manara). For Manara, it is love at first sight when she sees Rohan, who incidentally is 'recovering' from a breakup with Priya (Shraddha Das), his girlfriend of many years and who is now settled in London. While Maya leaves no stone unturned to get Rohan's attention, Rohan seems to be still 'lost in love' about Priya. One fateful night, when Rohan and Maya are returning drunk from the party, their car meets with an accident when it collides with a bike which was being driven by a lady named Nancy, who 'incidentally' happens to be Priya's step sister. But fearing the police and the law, both, Rohan and Maya prefer to bury the incident and remain mum and do not tell anyone about the same. The story takes a new turn when the police discover that Nancy wasn't killed in the accident, but was murdered by strangulation. That's when Priya comes back to India from London to hunt for Nancy's killers. But when Maya discovers Rohan and Priya's past, she sets out to finish off Priya as her love for Rohan now becomes an obsession. What forms the actual outcome is the real suspense of the film.
Does Priya become successful in tracking down her sister's killers? Are the police able to track down Nancy's real murderer? And does Maya's obsession with Rohan lead her to kill Priya and what is the suspense which Rohan keeps up his sleeve till the end which leaves everyone stunned is what forms the rest of the story.
ZID could possibly be the only film so far in Bollywood which doesn't have the director's name in its credits! Irrespective of who is actually the film's director, the film seems to be like a ship sailing in the middle of the sea without a captain. It's as directionless as that. The storyline of the film begins to confuse the viewer, immediately after the first 15-20 minutes. Even though the film makers have tried to establish Maya's character as an obsessive and psychotic one, her poor performance makes the said role look more childish and everything in that zone. As the film progresses, the story becomes as predictable as the characters' performances. While the first half of the film is too long, the second half is a bit comparatively bearable, mostly due to the revelation of the suspense and the factors that lead to it.
As far as the performances are concerned, there is hardly any known name or outstanding performance by anyone in the film. Even though this is Karanvir Sharma's second film, he seems to be struggling with his acting (esp. during emotional scenes). Despite this, he looks really confident on the screen. The seasoned actor Mohan Kapoor delivers a convincing performance. Shraddha Das (who had earlier done films like LUCKY KABOOTAR, LAHORE etc…) is average. The film's debutante actress Manaara seems to be struggling with her role and really needs an acting class pronto! Considering the lineage that she hails from (she is Priyanka Chopra's cousin sister), she really should have done her homework really well before facing the camera. She looks really confused throughout the film. The 'rawness' of her acting seems very apparent in the scenes where she talks to her (non-existing) sister on the phone. The actor who played the role of 'Inspector Moses' is irritating. On the other hand, full brownie points to the actor who plays the role of the DSP. Even though he had a short role, he looked very convincing. The rest of the cast help in the film to move forward.
The music (Sharib Sabri, Toshi Sabri) sounds a bit raw in the first listening, but later grows on you. Despite having a handful of melodious songs, it looks like they have been forced into the film. All of the sleaze and sex elements are limited to the songs.
The film's choreography (Salman Yusuff Khan, Ranju Verghese) is average. The work of the film's DoP (Yash Bhatt) is commendable as his efforts to capture Goa very differently. For some strange reason, there is less light used in the film, which could have otherwise 'lightened up' (quite literally) the film. The film's screenplay (Vivek Agnihotri, Rohit Malhotra) is above average, very much like the film's dialogues (Vivek Agnihotri, Rohit Malhotra).
On the whole, ZID is a very average thriller which has no stellar performances or a meaningful storyline.
With the baseline as 'The system is so corrupt that you can only ridicule it', the film UNGLI starts off on a high. The film opens with an old man and his young daughter waiting at the Pension Office and being bullied by the 'babus' working in the office. The old man gets a stroke and lands up in a hospital where his poor daughter narrates her dilemma to the doctor, which is overheard by Maya (Kangna Ranaut), who is works in the same hospital. She informs her friends Abhay (Randeep Hooda), Goti (Neil Bhoopalam) and Kaleem (Angad Bedi) that they got their 'first case'. The team, then, covers their faces in masks and kidnap the 'babus' at night. As a part of their plan, they strap the 'babus' with 'time bombs' and make them run in an empty stadium. Not just that, they also inform the cops and media about the same. In no time, their antics are all over the media channels and they become famous as the 'UNGLI' gang. Slowly the gang starts expanding their operations and putting up the videos of punishing the corrupt on the internet and win the hearts of the masses. The cops, however, are not happy about this and the Police Commissioner (Raza Murad) gives the case to anhonest police officer Ashok Kale (Sanjay Dutt) to solve. But, when Kale fails to catch the gang, he realizes that he will need to use someone who thinks like them to work against them. That's when he decides to put a police officer Nikhil (Emraan Hashmi) on job. Emraan, who happens to be the son of a late cop and a close friend of Kale, is not interested in working with the police and hates the system and it's functioning. He is however notorious in his ways of operating and hence Kale hands him the responsibility of catching the UNGLI gang. Nikhil takes up the job and does his own tricks in punishing the corrupt and takes credit for it pretending to be an UNGLI gang member. The sudden entry of Nikhil wakes up and shakes up the original gang. With a few hints that Nikhil throws at them through the 'trademarked' video messages, the gang tracks him down and eventually he joins them. However, Nikhil soon realizes that the gang is not wrong in their approach towards cleaning up the society. But, due to a certain situation and circumstances, he gets torn between his duty (as a police officer) and his friendship with the UNGLI gang members. Kale, on the other hand, too waits to seek answers from Nikhil as the pressure keeps building on him to catch the notorious gang. Amidst all of this, a situation gets cropped up where all these characters are faced with a situation where they have to either accept the corrupt society for what is it or else fight back by risking their own lives.
Whether Nikhil will for go his duty as a police office and betray the trust of the UNGLI gang by having them arrested, will Kale manage to get his hands on these gang members, will the gang manage to achieve what it have set out to do... is what which forms the rest of the story.
UNGLI happens to Rensil D'Silva's second film as a director (the first being Saif Ali Khan- Kareena Kapoor starrer KURBAAN). Rensil, who also doubles up as the film's story and screenplay writer, seems to have let off all his vents against the system in one breath. One can understand the intentions behind him making the film, but there are moments that could have been handled better. The problem with this film is that it lacks certain level of freshness. Even though the subject chosen is an old one, the treatment could have been different. Even though the film has been totally shot at real locations in Mumbai, certain situations could've been made to look more convincing. The scene that the audiences will be able to relate to the most is of the rickshaw guy refusing to travel a short distance. While the film establishes itself and its characters well within the first fifteen minutes, it loses the grip as it progresses. The first half of the film is effective and crisp, unlike the film's second half, which is stretched, thus, making the film bereft of entertainment value. The end climax scene will be difficult for certain audiences to digest.
As far as the performances are concerned, one can't finger point at any one actor by calling him the captain of the ship. Rather, this is one film, wherein everyone contributes their bit effectively. It is really nice to see the comeback (by default) of Sanjay Dutt, who handles every shot and frame effectively with his ever-so-effective trademark performance. Emraan Hashmi, on the other hand, spares no efforts to match his performance with that of Sanjay Dutt. It is however Randeep Hooda who springs up a pleasant surprise in this film! As always, he exhibits a strong screen presence and is as usual, a delight to watch. Neil Bhoopalam and Angad Bedi perform well in their parts. Kangna Ranaut has done well in her role as part of the 'ungli' gang member. Neha Dhupia, on the other hand, seems to have got a good part to perform on the big screen after a long time in this film where she plays a TV reporter. Shraddha Kapoor sizzles and excels in her first everitem number ('Dance Basanti'). The other actors Mahesh Manjrekar, Shiv Subramaniyam, Raza Murad, Reema Lagoo and others do their bit in carrying the story forward.
While the background music (John Stewart) of the film is brilliant, the film's music (Salim-Sulaiman, Sachin-Jigar, Gulraj Singh) is not bad. Songs like 'Ungli Theme' and 'Dance Basanti' are peppy while 'Pakeezah' is melodious. The film's editing is very crisp, so much so that the film's run time is only 114 minutes. Dialogues by Milap Zaveri are very real and in today's lingo. The entire film is shot in Mumbai and the DoP has done a decent job of portraying the city.
All in all, if you want to watch a film about rebelling against the corrupt system then UNGLI is a decent watch for this weekend.
Happy Ending Movie Review - Sassy Start, Glassy Ending...
Saif Ali Khan started his film career with some odd films and it took him quite some time to taste the sweetness of success, when he started doing second lead roles. This fame and popularity established him in the slot of second hero image for a long time. It was 'Hum Tum' where he was loved by everyone in his fresh and new avatar of a rom-com hero. The success of 'Hum Tum' was witnessed in many more such type of film and established his new image of a rom-com hero with films like 'Salaam Namaste', 'Love Aaj Kal', 'Cocktail' and few more. Though, Saif did try to venture into many other genres, but got success only in a few of these films like 'Race', 'Race 2', 'Go Goa Gone', etc. His last few films were a huge disaster and thus one finds him back in the genre of rom-com, with his latest flick 'Happy Ending'. So let's find out whether 'Happy Ending' will enhance the elite list of Saif starrer rom-com type of films or might just be an another addition to his fading career.
'Happy Ending' is a story of a writer Yudi (Saif Ali Khan) who's enjoying his days of fame due to his successful novel. Time flies by and Yudi is slowly out of work and in order to pay his debt, he accepts a weird offer of writing a romantic comedy film script for superstar Armaan (Govinda). On the other side, Yudi is going through rough times in breaking up with his girlfriend Vishakha (Kalki) and meets up with another successful writer Aanchal (Ileana D'Cruz). What happens next is what the entire film is all about.Screenplay & Technicalities:
The story might look quite similar to many romantic comedy types of films, where the hero is running away from commitment and flirts around with many other girls only to settle out with the heroine towards the finale of the film. What makes 'Happy Ending' different is its way of presentation followed by witty writing attached to it. The first half of the film is totally entertaining and hilarious. Every scene is fresh, crisp and manages to add a huge smile on your face. The second half starts to drop down and ends up being a little bit predictable and bland in comparison to the first half of the film. There are some hilarious scenes starting with Saif's introduction part, Ranvir Shorey convincing his wife, Saif talkingto his alter ego, Saif's midnight meet with Preity Zinta, Saif-Govinda meet over the story idea, Saif and Ranvir breaking into Kalki's house, Govinda explaining script to Saif, Saif-Ileana singing 90's song, Ranvir meeting Saif in hospital, Saif-Ileana's night out in the hotel room and few more. For a good rom-com type of film you need some fantastic moments and all the above mentioned scenes are perfect for its requirement. The fun quotient dries out as the movie progresses towards the finale moments and tracks of Govinda, Ranvir Shorey and Kalki are reduced to minimal. The writers should have kept it as crisp and entertaining as they had started the film or at least attempt something different rather than ending up the film in such a simple and predictable manner. The camera work is good and gives the whole international touch to the film. The dialogue and one liners are super witty and contemporary, especially in case of Ranvir Shorey and Govinda.
One of the main ingredients for a successful rom-com is its music and in case of 'Happy Ending', the music is entertaining. 'Paaji Tussi', 'G Phaad Ke' and 'Haseena Tu' are foot tapping and enjoyable. 'Jaise Mera Tu' and 'Miliya Mileya' goes well with the flow of the film. 'Khamma Ghani' could have been placed in a better way. Music director Sachin Jigar display their variety of music with such enjoyment and fresh music.
Director Raj and D.K are known for making fresh and entertaining films and have been exploring different types of genres. This time they have ventured into the world of rom-com and have been highly successful in the comical part. In the romantic part they manage to bring in the moments but fail to sum up in a convincing manner. Also, the expectations of their last few films might hamper the feel of the film. They should have stuck to their style of presenting the film in the second half instead of focusing it more on the romantic drama.Performances:
Saif Ali Khan looked totally relaxed in his comfortable genre. He slips inside the role of Yudi and his alter ego with an ease and tries to do full justice to both of his characters. Ileana D'Cruz looks extremely beautiful and is one of her good performances after her debut film 'Barfi'. Together Saif and Ileana compliment each other. Govinda is outstanding and is one of the biggest reasons for cinema lovers to see the film. Sadly, his role is very short and one can hardly find him in the film. The makers have underutilized the talent of Govinda and should have added more scenes of him for the betterment of the film. Ranvir Shoey is superb and adds the life in the film. His role also in the film should have been little longer than what was given in the film. Kalki does her part with grace. Preity Zinta's cameo is welcome and it's a sweet feeling to see her with Saif Ali Khan in such types of film. Kareena Kapoor does her part with grace.Final Verdict: So bol meri "FILMI KHOPDI" iss film mein kitna hain Dum?
Dum? There is a good amount of dum in the first half of the film. The dum fades out, as the movie progresses towards its finale portions. Still, it's worth a watch, for the fun element associated with the film, along with foot tapping music and enjoyable performances by the lead actors. In short the movie is like a sassy start with non stop fun in the first half of the film, followed by glassy ending towards the end, which was a bit plain in comparison to the initial part of the film.Ratings: 3.5/5
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