Bollywood Review: Ram-Leela

336747,xcitefun-ram-leela-posterStarring: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Supriya Pathak, Richa Chaddha, Gulshan Devaiah, Abhimanyu Singh, Sharad Kelkar, Sveta Salve, Raza Murad

Directed by: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

The basic premise of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, two lovers from enemy families, has been used numerous times in Bollywood, whether filmmakers acknowledge the play or not. Even in the past couple of years we’ve had Issaq and Ishaqzaade, both essentially versions of Romeo & Juliet set in modern India, which is what Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest is as well, but while those two went for more gritty realist approach, SLB sticks to what he does best: grand, colourful, full-on musicals.

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Review: Planes

PH4BnI8ap8kN76_1_mStarring: Dane Cook, Teri Hatcher, Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Priyanka Chopra, Cedric the Entertainer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Carlos Alazraqui, John Cleese

Directed by: Klay Hall

The first shot of Disney’s latest animated feature, is almost disclaimer-like, in telling you you’re in the ‘world of Cars’. Indeed the film is set in the same world as Pixar’s 2006 and 2011 Cars films, but this isn’t a Pixar film, and so having the expectations of one from Planes is probably unfair.

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Bollywood Review: Shootout At Wadala

shootout at wadala

Stars: John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Kangna Ranaut, Tusshar Kapoor, Manoj Bajpai, Sonu Sood, Ronit Roy

Directed by: Sanjay Gupta

Sanjay Gupta’s first directorial venture since the 2005 film Zinda, (not counting his parts in Dus Kahaaniya) is a sort of follow-up/prequel to 2007’s Shootout At Lokhandwala. Set in 1970s Mumbai, it tells the story of the first-ever registered encounter by Mumbai police, where gangster Manya Surve (John Abraham) was shot dead, which took place at the junction next to Dr. Ambedkar College, Wadala, Mumbai on 11 January 1982.

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Bollywood Review: 7 Khoon Maaf

When you know pretty much the whole plot of a movie before it even starts, there’s always a chance it could become a little tedious as it plays out, even more so when the film is made up off 6 similar, chapters. The only real twist in this film comes in the seventh segment, by which point I’m sure a lot of people would no longer care. But not me, I cared.

Like in Priyanka Chopra’s own ‘What’s Your Raashee?’ with its 12 parts, the segments start feeling a little repetitive. The difference is Ashutosh Gowariker didn’t do anything about it, letting it all play out in its own sweet time, whereas Vishal Bhardwaj tries. By husband number 5, the wedding and funeral happen all in one shot. Though odd, it saves time, avoids boring less patient audiences, and is also a good example of how 7 Khoon Maaf really is a dark twisted comedy.

Priyanka Chopra is of course excellent. It’s a brave move for a Bollywood actress to do a movie where majority of the time she looks old. Talking of which, the ageing make-up wasn’t exactly consistent. Her skin tone varies throughout the film, and wrinkles and blemishes appear and disappear. Thankfully, her performance is good enough to look past it.

Apart from PC, the film completely belongs to Vivaan Shah. The film is narrated by Shah’s character, Arun, but even if you weren’t constantly reminded of his presence by the voice over, he would still be the man in Susanna’s life you remember the most. He does extremely well, considering it’s his first film, and he has to match Priyanka’s screen presence.

The husbands come and go as you expect them to, and each of them is good in their parts, and each storyline keeps you at least somewhat intrigued. Neil Nitin Mukesh, Irrfan Khan, Naseeruddin Shah were all good. John Abraham was alright, as he always is. The role didn’t really require much of him in terms of his acting abilities. Annu Kapoor and Aleksandr Dyachenko were the two that stood out, story wise, and performance-wise. Dyachenko who plays the Russian husband, Nicolai Vronsky, is very good compared to other foreign actors that we get in Bollywood movies. It wasn’t cringeworthy when he tries to speak Hindi. In fact it is almost believable that Susannah falls for him.

The problem with 7KM is that even with seven husbands, the story still lacks something. Had there been one husband with whom she had a proper love story, a husband that she truly loved, who then wronged her in whatever way, it all may have pieced together a little better. It should have been her first husband, but there’s a slight feeling that John Abraham’s character was meant to be that, which could have worked, but there is very little focus on them as a couple, and more on Jimmy the rockstar. The way the story is, it is more that she was just unlucky with men, and she also happened to have a murderous streak.

7 Khoon Maaf is a good film, and it has the Vishal Bhardwaj touch to it, but it’s not amazing like a VB film should be, and it doesn’t quite match his last, Kaminey. Priyanka Chopra’s performance saves the film, and if your sense of humour leans towards the dark side, the comedy could also work for you.