At the same time, there is a spate of detective movies in Bollywood. The year commenced with MR JOE B. CARVALHO, then SAMRAT & CO. followed, this Friday witnesses Vidya Balan donning the garb of a detective in BOBBY JASOOS, while DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY and JAGGA JASOOS are in production stages. The genre, it is apparent, is being lapped up by storytellers. What makes it fascinating is the fact that reputed Studios/production houses as well as top of the line stars are ready to step out of the comfort zone to act in these films.
Come to think of it, we haven't had a woman detective in Hindi films so far. Will BOBBY JASOOS trigger off a trend? Having said that, although BOBBY JASOOS narrates the story of a detective, the makers make sure they add human drama to it, which sets it apart from the detective films we have witnessed thus far. But an unenergetic screenplay acts as a roadblock. More on that later!
The premise first! Bobby [Vidya Balan] hails from a modest neighbourhood of Hyderabad. Her parents [Rajendra Gupta, Supriya Pathak] are keen she gets married, but Bobby is keen to chase her dreams of becoming a detective. She offers to work for a leading detective agency, but when things don't work out, she starts her own detective agency -- Bobby Jasoos P. Ltd.
Slowly but surely, the cases start coming in, but the cases are trivial and don't interest her. The story takes a turn when Anees Khan [Kiran Kumar] offers Bobby to trace some missing people. Glad that she has made a beginning, Bobby grabs the offer instantly, but as she starts the investigations, she realizes something is amiss…
Unlike the protagonists of MR JOE B. CARVALHO and SAMRAT & CO., who ended up looking like a parody of Sherlock Holmes, first-time director Samar Shaikh and writer Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh ensure they instill anxiety, the feeling of uneasiness and make the spectator impatient as the drama unfolds. Concurrently, the element of mystery is wonderfully intertwined in the narrative, which draws the audience into the world of Bobby and the case she decides to take up. The twists and turns that ensue -- when Bobby realizes that this case is not as plain sailing as it appears to be -- involve the spectators completely, also because the writer and director make sure the film doesn't follow the stereotypical formula.
While much of the first half is devoted to constructing the suspense, the post-interval portions, sadly, do not live up to those lofty expectations. Sure, there are some absorbing moments and you do hope to get a shocker when the veil of suspense is finally lifted -- about the missing girls and also about the true identity of Kiran Kumar. Sadly, what transpires makes you wonder, what was the chase all about? Why did those families disappear? The reasons offered by Kiran Kumar aren't too persuasive. Furthermore, the film lacks the thrill quotient, which is so essential in a film like this.
A couple of episodes have also been elongated without much reason. The biryani episode and prior to that, the audition part could've been condensed for a stronger impact. Besides, the writer integrates the romantic track with the core story, but there are times when you feel it appears forced in the scheme of things. The romantic song before the climax, for instance, is like a sore thumb and could've been circumvented. Even otherwise, the soundtrack is nothing to hum about. The beautiful locales of Hyderabad have been captured with flourish by the DoP [Vishal Sinha].
Vidya Balan is known to walk that extra mile to get the character right. The supremely talented actress, who is seen in a variety of disguises in BOBBY JASOOS and speaks in Hyderabadi accent, is the soul of the film. She embraces the part with all the power that she can muster and is absolutely brilliant. Ali Fazal is a complete revelation. Although pitted against a powerhouse performer like Vidya, Ali makes his presence felt with a wonderful performance.
The film has a strong supporting cast, but the ones who register noteworthy performances include Rajendra Gupta [as Vidya's father] and Kiran Kumar. Both are top notch! Surprising, talented names such as Supriya Pathak, Zarina Wahab and Tanvi Azmi are relegated to the back seat and don't get meaty characters to leave much of an impact. Arjan Bajwa is just about okay. Aakash Dahiya and Prasad Barve [as Shetty], Vidya's constant companions, leave a mark.
On the whole, BOBBY JASOOS has an interesting premise, but the writing plays the spoilsport. The saving grace and also the USP is Vidya Balan for sure, but is that enough to salvage the film?
Lekar Hum Deewana Dil Movie Review: 'Lekar Hum Deewana Dil...'
The most popular genre in our Hindi film industry is Romance. This genre has been subdivided into few categories like love triangle, family wars, rich- poor clash and a few more along with couples eloping and getting married. Movies like 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak', 'Bobby', 'Jab We Met' and few more pop up instantly in the back of our mind when we think of Hindi films where the couples had to elope in order to avoid their family members getting them married against their wish. 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak' had a huge part dealing with the eloping track and after the movie's success, this track was seen in many more films until the release of 'Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge', where the hero decides not to elope. The same scenario repeated and many more films were followed by the 'DDLJ' effect indulged in it, until the release of 'Jab We Met' which could be termed as combo of 'QSQT' and 'DDLJ' but again having its own style attached to it. These movies became trend setters and thus romantic film lovers have been waiting for a long time to see something more on this sub genre. 'Lekar Hum Deewana Dil' starring Armaan Jain the grandson of Raj Kapoor promises to be a modern day take on romantic films based on eloping. So let's find out, whether 'Lekar Hum Deewana Dil' will manage to create another benchmark in Hindi romantic film history or might end up being among one of those recent times movies, which starts on a great idea and fails badly over its execution.
'Lekar Hum Deewana Dil' is a story of two youngsters Dino (Armaan Jain) and Karishma (Deeksha Seth), who decides to elope and enjoy their freedom. While they are on their run, Dino and Karishma not only find love for each other, but also come face to face with hardship and the realities of life. These realities prove that they are not made for each other and thus they decide to return back to their respective families. But things do not work out as they had planned and what happens next is what the entire film is all about.Screenplay & Technicalities:
The story idea and the concept is fantastic, but horribly executed. The writers could have done wonders with this concept and had the full potential to create another landmark romantic film. Instead, they end up delivering a confused first half with no head and tail. The whole soul and the connect was highly missing in the movie. Though occasionally in the second half you might tend to enjoy few scenes, but besides them there is nothing enjoyable or entertaining about this movie. The end credits featuring the real life footages of couples who had eloped is the best thing to happen to this lame and lethargic film. The movie is very loud in terms of its dialogue and physical behavior, which seemed totally unrealistic. Few scenes like Kumud Mishra threatening Armaan, Armaan trying to hit Deeksha, etc. are shocking and disgraceful. The camera work is very good and all the exterior locations, including some great ones from south Mumbai are remarkable. The movie seemed to be super long and never-ending due to its weak writing and lame editing.Music & Direction:
I have always been a great fan of music director A.R Rahman, but recently he has been losing his magical touch and even in 'Lekar Hum Deewana Dil' the music is just above average. , 'Ala Hada' is the best score from the film. 'Khalifa' and 'Mawali Qawwali' are good, but not as great as it is required for such films. Rest of the songs end up being an addition to the album.
Director Imtiaz Ali's brother Arif Ali marks his directorial debut with 'Lekar Hum Deewana Dil', which has a fantastic plot line attached to it, but fails to do justice to it. He should have focused more on the content and moments in the film rather than focusing on the looks of it. Such movies work only on the moments and chemistry between its lead pair, sadly none of them were to be found in this badly executed film.Performances:
Armaan Jain is fine, but not as great as his contemporary cousins like Ranbir Kapoor or Kareena Kapoor were in their first films. He looks like a muted combination of younger Saif Ali Khan and Raj Kapoor's younger son Rajiv Kapoor. Maybe after working in a few more films, we might be able to see a polished and better version of him. Deeksha Seth is nice as per her part, but lacks the heroine factor. Rohini Hattangadi, Gautami Kapoor, Varun Badola and many more are wasted.
Dum? Well, except for the fantastic plot line, few songs and two minutes of end credit, there is nothing much to boast about in this badly executed film. The makers could have given us a much needed good romantic film, but ends up delivering a dud. There is absolutely no deewanapan in 'Lekar Hum Deewana Dil' and still, if your dil feels like watching this movie then would warn you all with another hit song 'Dil Sambhal Ja Zara...'Rating : 1/5
Bobby Jasoos Movie Review - Lady Karamchand...
When it comes to fiction stories, everyone loves to read detective based stories. The readers enhance their reading level from 'The Famous Five' / 'Nance Drew' / 'Hardy Boy's level to 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' and many more. The beauty of these series lies in the detailing of its main protagonist and the type of mystery element attached to it. In our country too, we had our shares of detective series in the form of 'Feluda', 'Byomkesh Bakshi' and few more. While in the west, most of their detective series were enhanced in the form of television series followed by movies based series as well. Here, in our films very few films were to be seen in this genre. Surprisingly, this genre did catch up in a big way on our television with some great serials like 'Byomkesh Bakshi', 'Tehkikaat', 'Suraag', 'Raja Aur Ranco', 'Detective Vijay' and few more along with the most appealed 'Karamchand'. This year, our Hindi film industry geared up their socks and started many films based on the detective genre, which incepted with 'Samrat & Co.' and the next one in line is Vidya Balan starrer film 'Bobby Jasoos'. So let's find out, whether 'Bobby Jasoos' might manage to establish the much wanted detective genre in our Hindi cinema or might end up on the lines of 'Samrat & Co', which ended up as an open and shut case.
'Bobby Jasoos' is a story of Bobby (Vidya Balan), who desperately wants to become a detective and thus keeps solving small cases in her vicinity. Bobby wants to do something big but, is not supported by anyone, including her family members. One day, she gets a strange client Aziz Khan (Kiran Kumar), who offers her an interesting case along with a decent professional fee. Then begins a series of cases between Bobby and Aziz Khan. But, beneath these cases lies something more and that's what the entire film is all about.Screenplay & Technicalities:
The story is quite simple and not as complicated or intellectual like 'The Sherlock Holmes' series. The screenplay writers manage to keep you engrossed in the film, especially in the first half of the film. The character building of Vidya Balan is superb due to which you are thrilled as well as curious to know more about her in the film. The second half though, has its share of glitches and hurdles in the form of the romantic track and the side track involving Arjan Bajwa. There are some entertaining scenes like Vidya taking disguises and trying to solve the case, Vidya and her team taking the auditions, Vidya's bonding with her mother, tiff with her father, Vidya helping Ali to talk with his dad, Vidya and family on Biriyani hunt and a few more. On the flip side, as mentioned earlier the detective track is a bit low in its content level followed by weak romantic track and other side tracks. Also, the climax of the film is a big let down in terms of the expectations built up. There should have been some twist and turns in the finale portions rather than focusing on unwanted emotional track. The camera work is good and the basic soul of central Hyderabad is well captured and used in the film.
Music by Shantanu Moitra is not up to the mark. 'Tu' is the best track in the film, which is visually spoiled by the Shah Rukh Khan type of act by Ali Fazal. 'Jashn' and 'Sweety' are enjoyable.
Director Samar Shaikh tries to keep 'Bobby Jasoos' simple and engaging. Samar does full justice to his main lead character of 'Bobby Jasoos' and narrates it in an interesting and enjoyable manner. He succeeds mostly in the film except for the final part where he loses his grip and control over the film. Being a very simple plot line, the climax fails to match its level and should have been more engrossing.Performances:
Vidya Balan looks cute and very sweet. She essays her part with total conviction and does full justice to it. It's only due to her entertaining performance you are glued to this film. You can see her passion of a detective in her eyes and body language. It would be interesting to see a comic based character being made over this character of hers. Ali Fazal looks good, but fails miserably over his screen chemistry with Vidya Balan. Supriya Pathak, Kiran Kumar, Tanvi Azmi, Aakash Dahiya, Prasad Barve, Anupriya Goenka and Rajendra Gupta lend good support. Benaf Dadachandji and Zarina Wahab were wasted. Arjan Bajwa could have been much better.
Dum? Well, there is a good amount of dum for all those who love sweet and simple films with good performances attached to it. The movie might appeal to all those who are looking out to see a full-fledged intellectual detective film. Also, the weak climax will end up leaving a bad taste. Barring these few negative points, the movie ends up being a decent entertainer. Vidya Balan's 'Bobby Jasoos' might not end up being on the line of 'The Sherlock Holmes' or our own 'Feluda' but will come close to becoming a lady 'Karamchand', which was sweet, funny and entertaining.Rating: 3/5
Lekar Hum Deewana Dil
Although Arif does make an earnest attempt to narrate a story that's distinct from films of its ilk, you can't help but notice the influence of Imtiaz's works in his directorial debut. Let's not be grumpy -- one tends to be motivated by the celebrated works of your peers -- but there are times when you feel that the film is scattered [it lacks a foolproof screenplay; more on that later]. Nonetheless, what you cannot deny is that LEKAR HUM DEEWANA DIL has got its heart in the right place.
Let's enlighten you about the plot before we proceed forward. Set in South Mumbai, Dino [Armaan Jain] and Karishma [Deeksha Seth] are young and restless who wish to live life on their own terms. When Karishma's family mounts pressure on her to get married, she and her rebellious best friend Dino realize that they are made for each other.
Being the rulers of their destiny, they elope to forge a lifetime of love, fun and freedom. But they are yet to learn that life isn't that simple. And sometimes who you love the most can become the biggest problem. Dino and Karishma go through friendship, disillusionment, conflict and heartbreak, until they realize true love.
There's a boy. There's a girl. Romance blossoms. They face roadblocks. There's heartbreak. They drift apart. Ultimately, all's well that ends well. Arif uses the time-tested template to narrate a story, but, let's not overlook the fact that a mere outline with the usual tropes can never make an out of the ordinary film. Thankfully, Arif cushions the proceedings with sparkling moments in the first hour, but the writing slips in the post-interval portions.
Much like his brother's films, Arif keeps his characters identifiable and their conversation real. It's like sitting in a café or eatery and overhearing the conversation of the lovers and presenting the lovey-dovey talks/bickering in the most compelling manner. The episodes that lead to the lovers drifting apart is, perhaps, the best part of the enterprise, for the screenwriting does pull out several aces at this point.
LEKAR HUM DEEWANA DIL loses luster when it's time to iron out the disagreements and end the squabble [post-interval portions]. You know how the story is going to terminate, but the road to culmination has pointless curves that seem annoying and superfluous. Like, for instance, the sequences with the marriage counselor [Gautami Kapoor] appear ludicrous. Additionally, the love angle involving Armaan's elder brother [Sudeep Sahir] looks like an add-on. Furthermore, the constant bickering between the love birds could've been persuasive. As a matter of fact, there are times when you feel the emotions are more surface-level than heartfelt.
Mercifully, the film gets its act right towards the finale. The conclusion is unconventional, but it fits beautifully in the scheme of things, since the lovers do think from the heart, not mind, and this aspect comes to the fore fittingly at this juncture.
The soundtrack by the maestro [A.R. Rahman] takes time to grow, but is extremely likeable when you watch the songs on the screen [never mind the spate of songs in the first hour!]. 'Khalifa' is, without doubt, a chartbuster, while 'Alaahda' [soulful], 'Mawwali Qawwali' [foot-tapping] and 'Tu Shining' [lovely] stay on your lips. The DoP [Laxman Utekar] captures the beautiful locales with dexterity.
LEKAR HUM DEEWANA DIL depends completely on its lead actors. Also, Arif combines the sparkle and adrenaline rush of impulsive liaisons with serious take on relationships, giving ample scope to the first-timers to make an impact. Armaan has the charm that should help him establish a substantial fan-following, but more importantly, he is definitive and confident for someone who's facing the camera for the first time. Deeksha, who has featured in a couple of South Indian films prior to this film, has a pleasant screen presence and also handles her part confidently. In fact, she underplays the dramatic portions delightfully.
Kumud Mishra [as Armaan's father] is, as always, effective. Rahul Shetty [as Deeksha's father] does a fair job. Anita Kulkarni [as Armaan's mom] is first-rate. Rinku Karmakar [as Deeksha's mom] is perfect. Rohini Hattangadi is super. Sudeep Sahir, Varun Badola and Gautami Kapoor are decent.
Akhil Iyer [as Deeksha's prospective spouse] contributes to some light moments. Prabuddha Dayama [as Armaan's best friend] stands out with a natural act. Darius Shroff [as Armaan's lawyer], Jaywant Wadkar [as Deeksha's lawyer], Shravan Mehta [as Armaan's friend] and Zuber K. Khan [as Deeksha's suitor at the start of the film] are satisfactory.
On the whole, LEKAR HUM DEEWANA DIL has several wonderful moments and genuine sparks that stay with you. The film should appeal to its target audience -- the youth.
Ek Villain Movie Review - The Mystery Ends, As The Writers Are The Real Villians
Director Mohit Suri debuted way back in 2005 with a runaway hit 'Zeher' and after which he did around seven more films under the banner of 'Vishesh Films'. Though, most of his films were direct copies of many international films, 'Woh Lamhe' was one of his best work till date followed by 'Aashiqui 2' which ended up being his most successful film till date. The best part of all his movies was that they were decently adapated and had outstanding music along with great romantic moments indulged in it. 'Aashiqui 2' was a perfect example of Mohit's great taste in music along with many wonder romantic moments which helped to enhance the chemistry of its lead pair. Thus, right from the first promo of Mohit's latest film 'Ek Villain' one does expect to see another beautiful romantic film with some great music and fantastic performances attached to it. So lets find out, whether 'Ek Villain' will enhance the romanticism of 'Aashiqui 2' or might be just a follow on to it and end up being a decent money spinner at the box office.
'Ek Villain' is a story of a ruthless gangster Guru (Sidharth Malhotra) who is known for his merciless killings. Aaisha (Shraddha Kapoor) spots Guru in a jail and decides to help Guru become a better person. This new bond works for Guru and gradually he falls in love with Aaisha. Their dream world turns into a nightmare with the entry of Rakesh (Riteish Deshmukh) and what happens next, is what the entire film is all about.Screenplay & Technicalities:
The story is highly inspired from the Korean classic film 'I Saw The Devil' and is modified according to Indian situations. It is not even half impactful as the original classic film was, nor does it manage to capture the basic essence of the Korean film. The writers somehow twisted the basic plot and added more drama and emotions to the storyline, which ended up being a bit predictable and stretched. The basic plot line will manage to keep you indulged in the film, but as it progresses ahead the screenplay starts to disappear and fails to come back at any given point. The first half is very good as it has lots of curiosity attached to it, but as the mystery starts to unfold there is not much left except for stretching the second half to a climax which again reminds you of few films like 'Khalnayak' or 'The Dark Knight'. There are some great scenes like Shraddha's wish list, Riteish revealing his secrets to the girls, Sidharth hitting Riteish followed by Riteish-Shraddha flashback scene, Sidharth trying to fulfill Shraddha's wishlist and few more. The writer could have easily avoided side tracks of Shaad Randhawa, Kamal R Khan and a few more which ended up being half baked. The reasoning attached to Riteish or Sidharth fails to connect to the audience and seems forced. Dialogues are good, but not memorable.
Music has been a big highlight of Mohit Suri's films and even in 'Ek Villain' it's the biggest positive point attached to the film. Songs like 'Banjaara', 'Galliyan', 'Humdard' and 'Zaroorat'are brilliantly placed in the film. The magic of Mohit Suri's romanticism is reflected in these songs. 'Awari' is a total waste and should have been omitted from the film.
Mohit Suri fails to achieve the intensity of the original Korean film 'I Saw The Devil' and in order to Indianize it weakens the soul of the film. He manages to keep you glued to the silver screen, but fails to create the wonderful moments required for such films. At some points, a lot of justification and reasoning is given for its main characters and at some the makers take it for granted. Mohit is the best director to make a performance oriented film and he does manage to extract some decent performance from his lead actors. The movie lacked highly over some good romantic moments, emotional connect and intensity of the lead actors to reveal their dark side.Performances:
Sidharth Malhotra looks great and shines in the action scenes. He shows a tremendous improvement as far as his performance goes in comparison to his last films. Shraddha Kapoor looks sweet and beautiful and adds life to her character in the film. Shraddha's presence works in the favor of the film, wished the makers would have kept a lengthier role for her as her fans might be a bit disappointed. It's great to see Riteish Deshmukh attempting something different and is superb in most of his scenes. Though towards the finale, he starts to overact a bit, but still does full justice to his role. Aamna Sharif is terrible and ends up being a victim of a half baked character along with Shaad Randhawa. Kamaal R Khan and Remo struggle to act and were a total misfit for the film.
Dum? Well, there is a good amount of dum for all those who have not seen the Korean film 'I Saw The Devil'. The movie, despite being a weak copy of a classic thriller, ends up being watchable due to its fantastic music and good performances by the lead actors. If you remove the music and actors from this film, it's a weak film with a lot of loopholes and stretchy moments. There was a curiosity attached to the film so as to who the actual villain in this movie is? Well, the mystery ends as the writers are the real villains who ruin a wonderful concept by adding the unwanted reasoning part, weak screenplay and lots of forced melodrama.Rating: 3/5
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