Sunday, 9 November 2014

'The Shaukeens' Movie Review: Breezy Remake With a Twist

Though it is praiseworthy to take remake rights from the owners, they must stop calling films by that term when there is nothing at all common other than the basic idea. And that is what “The Shaukeens” is vis-à-vis the 1982 Basu Chatterjee film “Shaukeeen,” distinguished as the first film in which we saw a “lucky” spelling — note the three ‘e’s!

Three dirty old men `leching’ at a pretty young thing is what ‘The Shaukeens’ sets out to show. If it had stuck to its guns, made its threesome more interesting, and the girl less ditsy, this remake of Basu Chatterjee’s ‘Shaukeen’ (1982), would have done its job. But the reprise mixes a star (Akshay Kumar) swanning about playing himself, and doing, I might add, a better job than he has in his last few films, which takes away from the chief focus. Which is not such a bad thing, because the trio of dirty old men KD, Lali and Pinky (Anuu Kapoor, Anupam Kher and Piyush Mishra) is dull: when they are on screen, nothing much lifts off, not even the object of their desire, the lissome bikini-clad (Lisa Haydon) cavorting in the lovely blue ocean in Mauritius, where most of the film is set in. - See more at:

The free-spirited Lisa Haydon, who was so good in ‘Queen’, quickly becomes tiresome. You can see she is trying hard, but she can’t do anything about the way her character has been written. And that’s the problem with the men, too. The little details — Rati Agnihotri was in the original ‘Shaukeen’, and has a cameo here as Anupam Kher’s not-interested wife; Piyush Mishra plays a ‘masala’ king with a ‘non-masala’ life with a soft spot for a massage girl; and Annu Kapoor is the ‘dil-phenk’ bachelor with a sad back-story—could have been made much more of. It is Akshay Kumar, playing himself, or rather a superstar like himself with a thing for alcohol and a sudden yen for actorly respectability via a National award, who is the best part of the film. This is the star getting away from the things he pokes fun at— “same helicopter se latakna, same car chases” etc which lead to the ‘200 crore club’, and finding his funny bone. But those jokes get stretched, and finally we stop even faintly sniggering, like we did at the occasional haha-inducing lines.

Salman, Kareena start shooting for Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Kareena Kapoor and Salman Khan were spotted shooting for their film Bajrangi Bhaijaan at the Jama Masjid in Delhi recently.
Director Kabir Khan shared a picture of himself with Salman (left) and wrote: '#BajrangiBhaijaan Shooting in front of Delhi's Jama masjid. Manish Malhotra, who is styling Kareena in the film, also shared a picture and tweeted: 'With Beautiful kareena on sets of 'BajrangiBhaijaan

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Review: Rang Rasiya is an important film

Rang Rasiya is not a consistent film, but one that tells a story of a pioneering artist and visionary, a story decidedly worth telling, says Raja Sen.
Censorship is an utterly pointless and regressive activity, and we Indians have always been good at it.
Good at said pointlessness, that is, not at actually establishing some sort of sensible organisation that knows the meaning of the word 'context'.
Ketan Mehta's film Rang Rasiya, a biopic of the artist Raja Ravi Varma, deals with artistic censorship, a subject that remains immensely relevant in a country where filmmakers are asked to cut out dialogues and trim scenes by 20 percent just cause the censor board said so.
The movie opens with a courtroom scene, one that reminded me of Howl, the James Franco-starrer about Allen Ginsberg's obscenity trial. A compelling film, it concentrated on the fascinating case -- recreating preposterous but real-life court transcripts -- and, on the side, explored the beat poet's life, love and history.