Showing posts with label Film Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Film Review. Show all posts

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai: Film Review

Emraan Hashmi, Kangna, Ajay Devgan, Gangster, Dawood Ibrahim

On the cusp of the release of Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai Again/Dobara, I figured I would watch the first Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, a seventies era film.This movie is rumored to be loosely based on real-life gangsters,  Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim.What drew me to this movie was: Emraan Hashmi, Kangna Raunat and the soundtrack. After the disaster that was Himmatwala this year, I didn't really want to see Ajay Devgan's face again, but I reluctantly dug into the past and pulled this movie out.

 Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai begins with a cop, Agnel Wilson (Randeep Hooda) who tries to kill himself by driving his car into a river. When he is taken in by his commanding officer for questioning he narrates our movie to us. It begins with a young orphan,Sultan Mirza, (later played by Ajay Devgan) who shovels coal for just a few rupees a day. Pretty soon he begins to smuggle for rich men, and then bham, he is now the biggest underworld don.

Kangna and Ajay Devgan, Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai, White
Our little gangster has a crush
Sultan is a benevolent don. He divides Mumbai into four regions, refraining from giving one person total power. He also does not smuggle contraband, so therefore he is looked at as having higher integrity than the others like him. Our big bad white suit wearing gangster Sultan, however has a childlike crush on leading actress Rehana (Kangna Raunat). He does ridiculous, but amusing things to get her attention. He buys a guava for 400 rupees and presents it to her, he waits for her for 18 days at her favorite restaurant, and he even eats bitter gourd for her. What a guy! So they eventually fall in love, hence Rahat's Tum Jo Aaye Zindagi Mein. Their love story is the cutest part of the movie, but its fades away so quickly as Agnel closes in and our second star, Shoaib Khan (Emraan Hashmi) surfaces.

So we see our Dawood Ibrahim, Shoaib, as a bratty child in the beginning, starkly contrasting Sultan's demeanor at a child. He is a defiant, hot-blooded young thing who likes to steal change out of pay phones with his chubby accomplice. He threatens the man who reports him and takes him to his police officer father. When Shoaib grows up he is an even more disgusting person. He harasses customers at the store where love interest, Mumtaz (Prachi Desai) works and commits with robberies.
Emraan Hashmi, Prachi Desai, Bobby, Once Upon A Time in Mumbai
I think you should dress up like Dimple Kapadia from Bobby. Do it.

 His police officer dad for some ridiculous reason asks Sultan to take take Shoaib under his wing. This when the trouble starts in Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai. Shoaib's character is barely endearing besides the scene where he buys Mumtaz liquor and a snack mix with his first paycheck, claiming that this is what he does with his friends, and he doesn't know what to do for girls. So, basically Shoaib being the disgusting person he is, tries to overthrow Sultan to take over power.

The events in the Once Upon a Time in Mumbai pan out realistically and the acting is top notch. The women unfortunately aren't essential to the plot, but they did add some romance and release of tension. Ajay Devgan is easily the most likable character. It is almost as if he was tailor made for this role. The best part about Sultan's character is that he was flawed, but still lovable. Hashmi's character, on the other hand, was so easy to hate and so hard to love. So in the end, the music was fabulous, the plot moved quickly, and the acting was great. The downside was that all police mama drama gets a little boring sometimes, but give it a chance, you won't regret Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai, like I regretted Himmatwala.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Jab Tak Hai Jaan: Film Review

Director: Yash Chopra

Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif

So I finally got around to watching Jab Tak Hai Jaan. I know, I'm really really late...NetFlix just added it to their streaming collection, so if you haven't seen it, you should.
Katrina Kaif Shahrukh Khan Jab Tak Hai Jaan Still Saans
Katrina Kaif and Shahrukh Khan in the song "Saans" from JTHJ
Unfortunately this is the last film that Yash Chopra directed before his death last year. Jab Tak Hai Jaan has magic in parts and is aesthetically gorgeous, just look at the picture of Shahrukh Khan and Katrina Kaif above.

I wish more seasoned actresses were featured in this film. We have the young Anushka Sharma (Akira) who plays the role of a struggling reporter trying to do a story on Shahrukh Khan (Samar). Much like her debut film, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Anuksha Sharma still looks too young for Shahrukh Khan. In Jab Tak Hai Jaan, she comes across as an infatuated, immature teenager. Her character matures slightly in the middle, but its not good enough. Anuskha plays the same bubbly, over the top character that we have seen play in other films, like Ladies V/S Ricky Bahl and Band Baaja Baraat. She is a vital character to push the plot, but I don't buy her chemistry with to Shahrukh Khan for a second.

Anushka Sharma and Shahrukh Khan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan
Does this not look like a father and daughter picture? 
So, when Indian Army bomb diffuser Samar lends Akira his jacket, she coincidentally discovers a diary in his pocket telling the story about Samar's lost love, Katrina Kaif (Meera). The love story between Meera and Samar is illustrated to us in a flashback, after Akira dashes a few curses out and speaks about her one night stand.

The love story between Meera and Samar is cutest thing in the movie, and you can see definite chemistry between Kaif and Khan. Shahrukh Khan is charming as Samar, but it is like all the other roles we have seen him in. After he looses his love he acts like his bitter character from Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, and when he is in love he acts like his character from Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan Poster - Anushka Sharma
Angry Samar versus Romantic Samar

The flashbacks between Meera and Samar are the best parts of the movie. Meera plays a woman who is already in engaged, so it is interesting how the love story plays out. The parts with Akira and Samar don't really catch the attention much. The movie is definitely longer than it should be, especially when the medical drama parts are added into the mix. 

 Jab Tak Hai Jaan  is not the typical love triangle, because it is so obvious who Samar should end up with in the end. Little pieces of  story line aren't believable. How could a snow shoveler/ waiter, suddenly become the top bomb diffuser in the Indian Army.
Shahrukh Khan, bomb, blast, Jab Tak Hai Jaan
Shahrukh calmly walking away from a bomb or JTHJ
Why would he agree to take Akira who is bordering on crazy with him on such an important mission? Why does the church Meera goes to always empty? And of course that whole underground dance scene.

The background score is all right. It is not a stellar as you would expect it to be, coming from A.R Rahman. We have Saans and Heer being the best. Jiya Re is also good if you want an upbeat number. A couple of  Yash's enchanting scenes and beautiful cinematography is all you should expect from Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Hopefully Shahrukh Khan's next film is better. 

Much Love,