India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Gali Gali Chor Hai: Well intentioned, badly made

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Given that director Rumy Jaffry’s film “Gali Gali Chor Hai” deals with the burning issue of corruption, one would assume there would be no lack of material. Jaffry concentrates on corruption at the lower level and the everyday struggle of the common man who has to deal with this malaise as he tries to get on with life.

Akshaye Khanna plays Bharat, a meek bank cashier who lives in a dilapidated house with his wife, father and a pretty paying guest. When he rubs off a local politician the wrong way, trouble starts.

On the pretext of returning stolen goods, a local constable (Annu Kapoor) traps Bharat in an unending maze of red tape and corruption — all for a decrepit fan which doesn’t even belong to him in the first place.

Like I said in the beginning, Jaffry has a good idea — to portray the struggle of a common man against a corrupt and inefficient system, and to use satire as a medium to depict that struggle — and it does sound good on paper.

Agneepath: Revenge re-packaged

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While watching Katrina Kaif gyrating to “Chikni Chameli”, more than halfway through Karan Malhotra’s “Agneepath”, I couldn’t help but wonder about the similarities between the song and the film. Both are adaptations of an original product (“Chikni Chameli” has been adapted from a popular Marathi song), both have ample production value and some great moves, but they are also ample proof that remaking an original may not always work.

Malhotra’s version of “Agneepath”, to be fair, is not a direct copy and is quite different from Mukul Anand’s 1990 version. A lot of the plot points of the original film have been swapped for newer stories, but the gist of the story remains.

Chaalis Chauraasi: Stellar cast, not-so-stellar film

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The one thing director Hriday Shetty’s film “Chaalis Chauraasi” can boast of is a stellar cast. With actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Atul Kulkarni and Kay Kay Menon as his leads, and a story idea with lots of great possibilities, it’s safe to say this film sounds great on paper.

Of course, most films must sound good on paper or else no one would make them, but that’s another story (or a blog). “Chaalis Chauraasi” is fashioned as a caper film, in which four small-time crooks plan on getting their hands on a huge sum of money that is lying in a deserted house in the middle of nowhere.

Players: Good action, bad acting

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You cannot help but compare the last film of 2011 with the first film of 2012. Both have a lot in common — “Don 2″ and “Players” are both heist films, both borrow heavily from Hollywood movies and have their share of over-the-top cheesy moments. There is just one thing that sets “Players” apart — there’s a lot more action in this one.

Director duo Abbas-Mustan make sure there’s plenty to keep you on the edge of your seat, and even though the film drags on longer than it should, you are still not looking to bolt from the hall.

Wishlist 2012: What would you like to see at the movies?

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It’s the time for new beginnings and new resolutions, and for someone who covers the entertainment industry, it’s time for yet another year at the movies. Here’s a list of wishes I have for 2012. They may not all be possible, but hey, that’s why they’re called wishes right?

NO “LEAVE YOUR BRAIN BEHIND” FILMS: Let us get the seemingly impossible one out of the way. Can Bollywood please leave mindless comedies and crass humour involving genitalia, toilet humour and sundry other staples behind? There were too many “Rascals” and “Thank You” movies this year for my comfort. My number one wish is that Bollywood gets a real sense of humour.

Don 2: Don’t expect too much

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It’s been a while since Bollywood dished out a slick, fast-paced action film. Wait, who am I kidding? Bollywood doesn’t do fast-paced action films any more, we just turn to Hollywood to get our share of those. So kudos to Farhan Akhtar that he thought of attempting it — not once but twice.

While the first was a remake of the 70s hit “Don”, the sequel is an entirely new story, and doesn’t have too many connections with the previous film, except for some of the characters who make a comeback.

Ladies vs Ricky Bahl: One-time fun

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You cannot help but feel that Maneesh Sharma’s “Ladies vs Ricky Bahl” is a mash-up of past Yash Raj films like “Badmaash Company”, “Bunty Aur Babli” and even “Bachna Ae Haseeno”.

The story is one you’ve seen before — a smart-talking con man takes off with suitcases of money after tricking three very gullible women.

My Friend Pinto: Tests your patience

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Some films have you hooked from word go. Some grow on you, getting your attention as the story moves along. Raaghav Dar’s “My Friend Pinto” falls in the third category. You keep waiting for the movie to hook you, but it never does.

The film is a disjointed effort that never seems to find its peak and is hampered by a weak script that ensures you don’t feel for any of the characters or keep up with any of the chaos that seems to be unfolding on screen.

Mod: An intricate tale of love

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Nagesh Kukunoor’s “Mod” is simple, yet intricate and extremely powerful cinema that combines his directorial skills with an interesting cast and a story that stays with you long after it is over.

Andy, who introduces himself as a classmate from school, begins visiting Aaranya on the pretext of repairing his watch. Soon they begin spending more time with each other and Aaranya even introduces him as her boyfriend to her aunt.

Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge: Not original, but surprisingly good

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By Urjita Patil

When I was asked if I wanted to go watch Nupur Asthana’s “Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge”, I cringed, not just at the title but even at the fact that it was promoted as “not another formulaic, generic, yuppie, teenage, wannabe cult movie” which meant it was definitely going to be “just another formulaic, generic, yuppie, teenage, wannabe cult movie”.

But after a few minutes of sitting through the movie touted as “this season’s most screwed up love story”, I could actually feel myself enjoying it.

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