Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
“Murder 3” is a Bhatt franchise, so the title hardly matters. All movies associated with them have pretty much the same structure and tone, a little bit of skin show, some nasal, high-pitch songs and the mystery element that forms the major chunk of the film.
Debutant director Vishesh Bhatt makes an “official” remake of the Colombian film “The Hidden Face” and doesn’t veer from the original story line at all.
Randeep Hooda plays Vikram, a photographer who shoots everything from calendars to wildlife (one of the opening shots shows Hooda shooting ostriches and zebras grazing peacefully near leopards in a meadow).
In the world created by Abbas-Mustan, if you are a multi-billionaire who wants to build a casino and are refused permission by the government, you invite the official responsible out for drinks, dance with him and then shoot him in the middle of a crowded discotheque and walk out without batting an eyelid.
In this world of “Race 2”, you can get away with stealing the Shroud of Turin with something as simple as a decoy bomb and people use “sensor technology” to play card games and spy on their loved ones. It may have looked cool 20 years ago, but now it’s just a tad ridiculous.
If you go by the Bollywood formula, Sujoy Ghosh’s “Kahaani” doesn’t tick any of the boxes. It’s a thriller — a genre Bollywood usually stays away from; it’s got a female lead, hardly any songs and no distractions in the form of a comedy/romance track.
It does tick one crucial box though — it’s a well-made film, with some great characters and powerful acting, and if you are willing to ignore some plot holes and go with the flow, this is a very satisfying watch.
While that one had what was at best a wishy-washy murder, this one goes all out — there is blood, sadism, a twisted mind and one of the most sinister villains you have seen in Bollywood in a long time.
Rohan Sippy’s “Dum Maaro Dum” attempts to take a hard look at the drug mafia in the tourist haven of Goa through the eyes of a ruthless police officer.
Abhishek Bachchan plays the protagonist Vishnu Kamat, a once corrupt officer who mends his ways and is called on to “clean Goa of drugs” by an ailing minister. Sippy uses a non-linear mode of narration, zigzagging from one character to another, lending a zippy pace to the first half of the film.
The basic premise of Vishal Bhardwaj’s enticingly titled “7 Khoon Maaf” is enough to generate excitement about the film. A woman marrying several times and killing off each of her husbands is the kind of story you don’t get to see too often in Bollywood, and if anyone can do justice to that kind of a dark theme, it has to be Bhardwaj. There wasn’t much that could go wrong with this one.
That’s exactly what I thought when I entered the theatre, more than seven months ago, to watch a movie called “Raavan“. And we all know what happened with that one. I might be accused of being a little harsh here but this film might be Vishal Bhardwaj’s “Raavan”.
Watching Sudhir Mishra’s “Yeh Saali Zindagi”, you get the distinct feeling that somewhere there’s the germ of a great movie in here. The problem is that Mishra burdens the film with so many subplots and assorted characters that it’s difficult to rummage among them and come up with the main plot of the film.
The film, which revolves around three characters and the events leading up to one day of action, stars Irrfan Khan as Arun, a fixer who works for a money-lender, and must save Priti (Chitrangada Singh), the woman he loves, from the clutches of a kidnapping gang. But things are not as simple as they seem at first glance.