Finding Fanny Movie Review - Finding Cinematic Simplicity

Expectations:

The 70's era witnessed the birth of simple and realistic films, which were known by various names such as middle of the road films or realistic films. These films were made within the parameters of popular cinema narrating a tale of a common person, but had content which was very simple and mild in comparison to the melodramatic films from that time. Filmmakers like Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee managed to get the right essence of middle class society and presented such types of films in an entertaining manner. With the changing times, many film makers tried to follow the path set by these filmmakers, but very few could manage to get the required simplicity and the correct essence. If we speak about this calendar year, we did see films like 'Queen', 'Ankhon Dekhi', Filmistaan' and few more enhancing the level of such types of films and looking at the promos of 'Finding Fanny', looks like we might have another addition to these films. Many times the film makers get carried away and present such films under the influence of international cinema, due to which the local connect seems missing. So let's find out, whether 'Finding Fanny' will manage to do justice to the expectations attached to it or might be yet another effort to ape some international style of cinema.

Finding Fanny Movie Review

Story:

'Finding Fanny' is a story of five people on a road trip to find a girl named Fanny (Anjali Patil). The whole trip is planned by Angie (Deepika Padukone), who wants her village old man Ferdie (Naseeruddin Shah) to meet the long lost love of his life, Fanny. They are joined by Angie's mother in law (Dimple Kapadia), a painter Don Pedro (Pankaj Kapur) and Savio (Arjun Kapoor), who drives the car. On the journey to find out Fanny, everyone rediscovers certain facts about themselves and what happens next, is what the entire film is all about.

Finding Fanny Movie Wallpaper

Screenplay & Technicalities:

The story is simple and one liner. It might remind you of films like 'Little Miss Sunshine' but is totally original and different. Films like these works on the moments attached to it, rather than the basic story line. First half of the movie is gripping, entertaining and overwhelming. There are lots of sweet and humorous moments indulged in the earlier part of the film, which enhances the feel good factor attached to the film. There are some wonderful scenes like the intro part, Deepika - Naseeruddin Shah's chat over the letter, Naseeruddin Shah's crazy dream, Deepika - Arjun's chat over the car, Pankaj Kapur meeting Dimple Kapadia for the first time. Naseeruddin's crying shots, everyone gearing up for the trip. Pankaj Kapur trying to impress Dimple Kapadia in the trip, Arjun - Deepika's bonding in the fields, followed by Arjun's outburst at Dimple and many more. These scenes are presented in such a sweet and poetic manner due to which it's hard to take away your eyes from the silver screen. On the flip side, the movie gets bit stagnant post interval and gets into detail of Deepika and Arjun's track which should have been more impactful. Also, the intellectual humour attached to the film will be appreciated by a niche audience only. The dialogues are realistic, soulful and blended perfectly with the characters from the film. 'Finding Fanny' is directed by Homi Adajania, whose every film has fantastic cinematography. It's top notch here, too by Anil Mehta. The whole landscape, locations and the shot taking work as a character in the film.

Finding Fanny Movie Still

Music & Direction:

Along with the beautiful screenplay and soulful dialogues, the background music by Mathias Duplessy also adds up as one of the key elements in this film. The music is soothing and apt as per the situation of the film. It's due to these key events one gets travelled to the topography of the film.

Director Homi Adajania debuted with 'Being Cyrus', which was one of the milestones in the changing face of modern Hindi cinema. His movies matched the international styling and were loved by the urban audience. In 'Finding Fanny', he decides to make a feel good film showcasing the simple life of five people, which has flavour of the popular TV series like 'Malgudi Day's'. He designs his character in such a loving manner that it reminds you of the Gaulish villagers from the popular 'Astrix' comics. The whole message attached to the film is shown in a beautiful and aesthetic manner. Though, one would have loved to see more moments in the film, which would have enhanced the level of all the characters attached to the film.

Performances:

Speaking about the performances, Naseeruddin Shah is sweet and cute in the film that you will love him and his character above everyone else. Deepika Padukone looks gorgeous and beautiful in every scene of the film. Her scenes with Naseeruddin Shah are fantastic and displays the rise of her as an actress in a big manner. Pankaj Kapur is outstanding in his lusty avatar. He never goes over the top, in fact, stays within the skin of his character. Dimple Kapadia is sweet and charming in her role. Arjun Kapoor gives a good performance and manages to do a decent job despite of the presence of the veteran actors. Cameo by Ranveer Singh is short and could have been bit longer. Anjali Patil and Ankur Tewari were fine in their parts.

So bol meri "FILMI KHOPDI" iss film mein kitna hain Dum?

Dum? The movie has all the dum required for a sweet feel good film and does full justice to the genre and the niche audience attached to it. Masala film lovers might shy away from this film as it might be too bland for their appetite. But for all others who love feel good films, this movie refreshes you with its unique theme and narrative style and helps finding the long lost cinematic simplicity in our Hindi cinema.

Ratings: 4/5
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Creature 3D Movie Review - Treat For Monster Flicks Loving Kids...

Expectations:

Indian cinema in todays scenario is evolving in every way it can. There are films which are being made at par with the international films, in terms of content and technical aspects. The film makers are introducing various new types of genres in our Hindi cinema. As per the recent interviews of actress Bipasha Basu and director Vikram Bhatt, their latest film 'Creature' is the first of its kind in monster based genre in Hindi cinema. But, in order to ape the west, our filmmakers are forgetting that this genre was established way back in the early 60's era of our Hindi cinema with films like 'Gogola', 'King Kong' and a few more followed by films like 'Jaani Dushman' and 'Ajooba Kudrat Ka'. Sadly, these films were weak in terms of the technical detailing and ended up being more as a kids flick, instead of joining the extended version of the horror genre. Speaking about 'Creature', it's directed by Vikram Bhatt, who has till date directed more than half a dozen of horror films and has sort of, mastered in this genre. Thus, with his name attached to the movie, one does expect it to be among a better film with good 3D horror effects indulged in it. So, let's find out whether 'Creature' will be among the first well made 3D monster film from our Hindi cinema or might end up joining the long list of all claimed films which went wrong.

Creature 3D Movie Review

Story:

'Creature' is a story of Ahana (Bipasha Basu), who sets up a forest resort with top class facilities. In its inaugural time, some strange death keeps occurring near the resort. The forest department claims it to be a wild animal, but later Ahana comes to know that these killings were done by a strange and mysterious creature. She, along with her guest Kunal (Imran Abbas Naqvi) and professor Safana (Mukul Dev) tries to find out more about this mysterious creature and what happens next, is what the entire film is all about.

Creature 3D Wallpaper

Screenplay & Technicalities:

The story is interesting, but not properly shaped up, as required for such films. The screenplay is weak and lethargic. The whole first half takes its own sweet time to establish the plot line and once established keeps getting diluted due to the forced romantic track which dilutes the flow of the film. Nevertheless, the second half is still better in comparison to the first half as it features a few good action sequences, featuring the creature. Scenes such as the creature attacking the couple in the woods, followed by pre-interval portion where creature attacks the resort, Mukul Dev and the gang trying to trap the creature and few more maintain the interest level in this half baked logic less film. The writers take their own liberty in establishing the logic in this film, which is silly and juvenile. Hi-fi terms as genetic suicide, Bhramarakshas, weapons polished with holy tree leaves, bullets dipped in holy water and few more adds the humour factor to this so called horror film. There are absolutely no scary or horrifying moments in this film as the thrill's are predictable. Thankfully, the middle portions are a bit interesting and thrilling, but are ruined by dragging and weak climax. The camera work is good and the 3D effects are enjoyable. CGI work is great and matches up to international standards.

Music & Direction:

Music is not required in such film, as they dilute the impact of the film. The songs were unwanted and not memorable. Though, the end credit song 'Mohabbat Barsa' is highly popular and wrongly placed in the film. The background music is horrible and the dubbing by Vikram Bhatt for the creature is irritating.

Creature 3D Still

Director Vikram Bhatt gives us a technically good film as per its genre and that too in 3D. But, in order to take care of the technical aspect of the film, he misses out over the dramatic part of the film. The movie lacks the chills, thrills and scary moments. If only he would have used his expertise in a proper manner, the end results would have been completely different and encouraging.

Performances:

Bipasha Basu is good, but not to her best as she has been seen in such types of films. Imran Abbas Naqvi fails to impress. Mukul Dev is fine in his part. Deepraj Rana, Bikramjeet Kanwarpal and others work as per their characters in the film.

Creature 3D Movie

So bol meri "FILMI KHOPDI" iss film mein kitna hain Dum?

Dum? Well, there is no second opinion that 'Creature' is a good film as per the technical level, but fails to honour its genre. The weak screenplay and half baked script ruins the hard work associated with this film and lacks the intensity. The adults might not get attracted to this monster drama, but it will be a treat for monster flick loving kids as it matches up to their sensibilities, only.

Ratings : 2/5

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Mary Kom Movie Review - Half Knockout...

Expectations:

There was a time when films with sports as its backdrop, failed to find its deserved audience. Though films like 'Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar', 'Lagaan', 'Chak De India', 'Iqbal' and few more changed the whole scenario. These films not only inspired our filmmakers to make more sports based films matching up to the international standards but also some of them went ahead to make biopics like 'Paan Singh Tomar' and 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag'. Though, the first biopic released was back in the 90's which was based on the life of national athlete Ashwani Nachappa. Since all of these biopics were based on the life of national athletes, the promos of 'Mary Kom' raised the expectation level as it featured an interesting sport -boxing. Speaking about which, our Hindi films churned out many films like 'Main Inteqam Loonga', 'Boxer', 'Apne', 'Aryan' and a few more which were all based on boxing. But, 'Mary Kom' claims to be different than these fine interpretations and looking at the promos it promises to be an exiting power packed film. However, many a times after watching a flawless promo the movie tends to end up below our expectation level as most of the best stuff attached to that film is displayed in the promo itself. Thus, let's find out whether 'Mary Kom' will manage to pass the acid test of expectation level or might be among those films which ends up being a mere extended version of its theatrical promo.

Mary Kom Review

Story:

'Mary Kom' is based on the real life of an Indian boxer, Mary Kom (Priyanka Chopra). The movie showcases the journey of Mary Kom, which includes her training by coach, Narjit Singh (Sunil Thapa) and her love life with Onler (Darshan Kumar). How does Mary fulfill her dreams and win for our country is what the entire film is all about.

Screenplay & Technicalities:

Story as the writer claims, is based on the real life happening of boxer Mary Kom. The writer narrates the tale in super speed, especially in the first half where things move at the speed of Superman, without even taking time to establish the plot line. The second half starts at a snail pace as it portrays the personal life of Mary Kom and gets stuck there, for a long and dragging period. The finale portions have to be super excited, sadly here, it's predictable and total filmi. There are some good and interesting scenes like Priyanka trying to bash the local goon, Priyanka in a street fight, Priyanka seeking apology from the federation guy followed by firing him before final match and few more. But, films like 'Mary Kom' needs more such type of scenes and some most brilliantly designed boxing matches. The whole training and playing for, at various levels is shown in super fast mode due to which you fail to connect with the film and its happenings. Everything here is so easily shown and done in a super jiffy manner. They should have shown more detailing in these scenes instead of showing extra detailing in the married life of Mary Kom. The boxing matches are not that exciting or interesting as it should have been presented. The repetitive scenes and dragging moments ruin the whole intensity of the film. Dialogues by Karan Singh Rathore are great and tries to balance the weak screenplay. The camera work is very good and gets the right tone required for such films.

Mary Kom still

Music & Direction:

Music my Shashi-Shivamm is good, but not chartbuster. Songs like 'Ziddi Dil', 'Sukoon Mila' and 'Salaam India' go well with the flow of the film. The lori by Priyanka Chopra is soothing. Background music is average.

Debutant director Omang Kumar comes up with a brilliant concept, but fails to do justice to it. He focuses more on the personal happenings of Mary Kom rather than the one she is known for. The intensity of the film is mellowed down due to low production values. Also, one will find many brand promotions in the film, out of which few were placed in those eras, when they din't even exist.

Mary Kom Wallpaper

Performances:

Priyanka Chopra is outstanding and gives yet another flawless performance. Her physical efforts deserve special mention and is something which has never been done in our Hindi film industry by any actress. If only 'Mary Kom' on overall basis would have been as impactful as her films like 'Fashion' or 'Barfi', it would have done proper justice to her hard work and efforts. Its due to her presence and performance would like to add one extra star to the ratings. Sunil Thapa lends good support. Darshan Kumar is weak and fails to match up to Priyanka's brilliance. Shishir Sharma is fine in his part.

Mary Kom Movie

Final Verdict: So bol meri "FILMI KHOPDI" iss film mein kitna hain Dum?

Dum? Well the movie has some good punchy moments with a fantastic performance by Priyanka Chopra. Also, it's not a bad film, but fails to create the magic which was created by 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag'. 'Mary Kom' is no where close to 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' nor the daredevil efforts of the real life of Mary Kom. It's a decent one time watch which ends up being a half knockout, instead of a full knockout film.

Ratings: 3/5
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Mary Kom

Bollywood has over the years been known for its commercial 'masala' films, however, every once in a while, the industry also gives birth to films that tell the real life stories which touch your heart and soul. While the former gets many takers, the latter is fast becoming popular. Thanks to the new found attention being given to reality based films, there are many filmmakers out there who have and are waiting in wings to try their hand at making movies based on the real life stories of iconic personalities. A few examples (read 'testimony') in the past have been films like BOSE: THE FORGOTTEN HERO, GURU, GANDHI MY FATHER, THE LEGEND OF BHAGAT SINGH, PAAN SINGH TOMAR and not forgetting the controversial film THE DIRTY PICTURE. Interestingly, films on sports personalities are picking up with CHAK DE INDIA and more recently BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG winnings the audience's heart.

This week's release, Omung Kumar's MARY KOM is one such film which is a biopic on one of India's most illustrious sports personalities, Mary Kom, who, despite all her hardships, put our country on the international map with her achievements. The film goes on to show the real life story of this sports star, which not many are aware of. The film serves as an eye opener not just on the fact that India can produce international 'gold medal winning' boxers, but also that Manipur is very much a part of India!

The irony of the film is that, while it starts off with a pregnant Mary Kom (Priyanka), who later goes on to 'deliver' a performance of a lifetime. Mary and her ever-so-supportive husband Onler Kom (Darshan Kumaar) fight against all odds in a curfew stricken Manipur to ensure the safe delivery of Mary. Hereon, the viewers are subjected to a series of flashback events which lead to the making of the star pugilist 'Mary Kom'. Delving into her upbringing, the film explores her past that includes her father's strict opposition to boxing during her childhood and Mary's undying spirit and love for the sport.

Omung does a great job of building up the climax with heart wrenching scenes where Mary chooses to box over spending a blissful life with her family. Post her opting to box, Mary accidentally lands up at the boxing training academy of her coach Narjit Singh (Sunil Thapa), who, after seeing her persistence, teaches her that 'the world maybe round for everyone, but her world should be the shape of the boxing ring, a Square'! Mary's talent for the sport combined with her coach's training form a deadly unbeatable lethal combo who go on to win international competitions galore.

However, things come to standstill when Mary marries Onler Kom, despite her coach's firm opposition, and Mary's subsequent pregnancy, and her delivering twin children, thus bidding adieu to her long cherished game of boxing, something which her coach had always feared for. Resigned to live the life of a commoner finding it difficult to survive with two kids, Mary applies for a job, but the job she gets is that of a 'hawaldaar', something that slaps her from within. Unable to continue with a mundane existence, Mary vows to make a comeback in the ring, this time round, minus the support of her coach, a decision which proves wrong in the long run.

Now, after serious losses in the ring, the absence of her coach and the unbending politics of the boxing federation, Mary faces an uphill task. Will she manage to convince her coach to train her again and will she manage to overcome the boxing federation forms the rest of the film. Omung Kumar certainly deserves an ovation for having shown the guts to make a biopic on Mary Kom, something which will surely go down in the history of exemplary biopics on Indian celluloid. He has managed to achieve the task of making Priyanka refrain from imitating the real Mary Kom, at the same time managed to show her inimitable love for the sports and her spirit to fight against all odds. The film definitely serves as an eye opener to all those who were ignorant about Mary and her contributions to the sports arena.

As far as the performances are concerned, it is indeed Priyanka Chopra who steals the show. She does total justice to this author backed role. One just cannot but miss the transformation of 'Marte Chun Chun Kong' to MC Mary Kom and also the scene when she confronts the boxing federations' chief. When you have a role that's tailor made for the heroine, it leaves us with no doubt about the screen space for the hero. But, in this film, it's the 'hero' Darshan Kumaar, who exhibits good screen presence and holds his ground firm, despite Priyanka's towering performances. Full marks go to Sunil Thapa, who shows his emotional, professional and rational sides with equal ease. He is exactly what the highly ranked coaches are made up of. Same applies to the couple playing Mary's parents. The rest of the cast help the film to move forward without any glitches or flaws.

The music of the film (Shashi Suman, Shivam) is just not upto the mark, but its shortcoming is overshadowed by the film's background score (Rohit Kulkarni) and the film's crisp editing by the man himself Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who also is the producer of the film. Brownie points go to Saiwyn Quadras for his screenplay and story, Karan Singh Rathore-Ramendra Vashishth for their dialogue and dialect. The film's cinematography by Keiko Nakahara is totally at par with costume designer Isha Mantry.

On the whole, MARY KOM is definitely worth a watch. The icing on the cake is that the film has been made tax free, something that should help the film in pulling the audiences to the theatres, besides the word of mouth. Go for it.
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Raja Natwarlal

There have been many films in Bollywood, which have followed the 'Robin Hood' format in stories. At the same time, the silver screen has been a testimony to many films which have actually 'con-tested' the elections as far as conning is concerned. Films like DHOOM series, SPECIAL 26, BUNTY AUR BABLI, BLUFFMASTER, OYE LUCKY! LUCKY OYE!, AANKHEN etc... will always remain as the evergreen shining examples of films which has been made on the subject of con jobs.

This week's release RAJA NATWARLAL (earlier titled SHAATIR) also follows the same path. The film starts off with Raja (Emraan Hashmi) a con artist by 'profession' and his partner in crime Raghav (Deepak Tijori) and their means to survive in the big bad city of Mumbai. Life goes on smoothly for Raja, courtesy Deepika Padukone and Waheeda Rehmaan and Zia (Humamima Malik), something that you will understand on watching the film. Despite being a conman, his heart bleeds for the helpless children and beats for the bar dancer Zia. Raja and Raghav seems to be really satisfied with their petty con-crimes for survival till Raja overhears two men discussing big money. Wasting no time, he gangs up with Raghav and they both hatch a foolproof plan to seize their big-ticket con with both their hands. Even though they become successful in executing their plan and become overnight millionaires, little did they know that their 'loot/booty' actually belonged to Varda (Kay Kay Menon), a cricket obsessed dreaded gangster based abroad. When the news reaches his ears about his men being looted by the duo, he wastes no time in bumping off Raghav, something that happens in front of Raja's eyes. That's when Raja decides to go on a mission to avenge Raghav's killers, during which he encounters Yogi (Paresh Rawal), a highly experienced con artist, who is now based in Dharamshala, because he renounces the world of conning and crimes. It really takes lot of conviction for Raja to make Yogi help him avenge Raghav's death. How do they hatch a foolproof plan to destroy Vardas's empire despite the many odds against them is what forms the rest of the film. The reason why Yogi agrees to help Raja also gets revealed almost towards the end of the film.

Director Kunal Deshmukh, who had earlier teamed up with Emraan Hashmi and had delivered hits like JANNAT (2008) and its sequel JANNAT 2 (2012), does a reasonably good job in RAJA NATWARLAL. The camaraderie between him as the director and Emraan as the actor is clearly the highlight of the film. There are a few repeated moments from his earlier films, but the plot of the film overshadows that. He manages to get the audiences glued to their seats throughout the film, a few loopholes notwithstanding. Even though the first half of the film is engaging enough, the second half gets a bit stretched up, thus pushing the audiences into a 'yawn-zone'. Kunal Deshmukh also makes a blink and miss cameo in the film!

As far as performances are concerned, Emraan Hashmi is top rate as he delivers exactly what was expected of him. Even though his last film GHANCHAKKAR turned out to be a dud, this film will surely live upto the audiences' expectations from him. On the other hand, debutante Humaima Malik, despite commanding a strong screen presence, is merely reduced to a prop in the film. She does deserve brownie points for her confidence to stand against Emraan Hashmi, even though she doesn't match upto the 'requirements' of being an Emraan Hashmi's heroine! Deepak Tijori, despite being in a cameo, registers a strong screen presence. Needless to say that the other men in the film Paresh Rawal and Kay Kay Menon deliver a flawless performance each. The rest of the cast help in the film moving ahead.

Even though writer Parveez Shaikh deserves to be applauded for the film's storyline, the same cannot be said for the film's editor Anand Subaya, who could have really churned out a miracle with his editing, a factor that is responsible for the film dragging. Even though the film's background music (Sandeep Shirodkar) is engaging, the same cannot be said about the film's music director Yuvan Shankar Raja. Unlike the previous Emraan Hashmi films, this film has no catchy music or even his trademarked one-liners. While on one hand, the choreography by Remo D'Souza and screenplay (Parveez Shaikh) is commendable, on the other the film's cinematography (Raaj Chakravarti), and its dialogue (Sanjay Masoom) could have been really areas which could have done the trick.

RAJA NATWARLAL is essentially an Emraan Hashmi film, which attracts its major audiences from the single screen theaters. The film is bound to face some 'elephantine' competition as its release coincides with the Ganesh Chaturti festival weekend. In addition to that, the next week will also see the release of a hard hitting MARY KOM, which could possibly apply the brakes on RAJA NATWARLAL.
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