Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Gurgaon : Movie Review

Gurgaon: Tale of Fratricide!
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The first recorded fratricide was when Cain killed Abel (A Biblical Story). Abel, son of Adam and Eve was killed; God cast Cain into the wilderness, so Adam and Eve had to have a third son Seth, to propagate the entire human race.

Human history is of interest because you find in it many journeys of aspirations that is driven by good as well as bad intentions and deeds. The film Gurgaon is based upon the yesteryears Gurgaon that was slowly waking up to the designs of the land sharks who had a magnificent city with concrete jungle on their map displayed on their glass office table. A few years back, the Delhi-NCR woke up to the shocking news of the fratricidal fight that led to the murder of a business tycoon and his brother at a disputed south Delhi farmhouse. In the film Gurgaon too we find behind the veil of riches the tragic killings and spine chilling dark secrets.
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Shankar Raman’s directorial debut is commendable and the star casts have done justice to the characters they play. Shankar Raman seems to have taken utmost care not to tread the beaten path of many others who make such dark movies with loud background scores, car races, running with weapons behind rivals, chopping them into pieces and stuffing them in gunny bags, molesting and raping women, or with a sleazy item song etc. It seems Shankar Raman knows what he wants to convey without much melodrama.
Image Courtesy: 1.    breakingnewspak.com
Pankaj Tripathi as Kehri Singh a man who rose from rags to riches needs special mention for his outstanding performance. Kehri Singh’s silent demeanour hides his past and he appears to be too scared to find his wicked shades in his young son Niki Singh ( Akshay Oberoi). Pankaj leaves no stones unturned to prove his mettle as an actor be it as the railway officer Satyaji in Masaan, Sultan of Gangs of Wasseypur, Principal of Nil Battey Sannata, the lover in Annarkali of Aarah and much more… Pankaj Tripathy has made a significant identity as a versatile actor in the tinsel town which by now has spanned more than a decade.
Image Courtesy: highonfilms.com
Akshay Oberoi as Nikki Singh, the elder son of Kehri Singh has matched his performance to the hilt with his other co-stars. Akshay’s eyes convey a lot – rejection, hurt, insecurity and hunger for power. Akshay Oberoi as Rajesh in the film ‘Laal Rang’ had a given a noteworthy performance but then, unfortunately, the audience didn’t lap up the movie which he did with Randeep Hooda. He is another actor who is on a rise.

Ragini Khanna as Preeto,  the US returned daughter of Kehri Singh has done a good job. Bound for the rest of her life to mutely agree to all the decisions her father makes for her just because he never said no to her. An apple of her father’s eyes she is the heir of his ill-gotten wealth and also a potential threat to the aspirations of her brother Nikki Singh. Shalini Vats has a studied silence as the wife of the indomitable Kehri Singh. She has buried many doubts and anger within her because of the fear of losing her family’s peace. Her love for Preeto and Kehri Singh considering Preeto as his lucky charm has many things to say.

The other characters like Chintu, the youngest son (Verma), Bhuppi (Aamir Bashir) brother of Kehri Singh who knows the darkest alley of  Kehri’s heart has wins the audience heart.
In short, film Gurgaon deserves a one time watch for its story and treatment. At a time when you wonder why Harry Met Sejal why not visit Gurgaon in a nearby theatre and spend time worth watching a movie which is made well. What needs to be remembered is the story of Cain and Abel still hold relevance in this age too, where distinctive human passions, pre eminently wounded pride, anger, jealousy, and fear exists.

.Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 3.25/5

Cast: Pankaj Tripathy (Kehri Singh), Aamir Bashir(Bhuppi), Akshay Oberoi (Nikki Singh), Ragini Khanna (Preeto), Shalini Vatsa (Wife of Kehri Singh)

Genre: Crime Thriller

Director: Shanker Raman

Producers: Madhukar R. Musle, Ajay G. Rai, Alan McAlex, Nisha N. Sujan, Abbas Ali Ratansi

Screenplay & Dialogues by: Shanker Raman, Sourabh Ratnu, Vipin Bhatti, Yogi Singha
Music by: Naren Chandavarkar, Benedict Taylor

Lyrics: Manoj Yadav

Edited by: Shaan Mohammed

Cinematography: Vivek Shah

Production Company: A Jar Pictures Production

Presented by: M R Filmworks, Hashtag Film Studios

Release Date: 4th August 2017

Language: Hindi

Monday, August 7, 2017

Jab Harry Met Sejal : Movie Review

Jab Harry Met Sejal: What You Seek Is Seeking You!
Image Courtesy: koimoi.com
Reviewer’s Thumb Mark

According to the 13th century Persian Poet and Sufi Mystic Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi, popularly known as Rumi, “Jise Tum Dhoond Rahe Ho, Wohi Tumhe Dhoond Raha Hai”(What You Seek Is Seeking You).  Imtiaz Ali known for his philosophical messages in his movies try to draw a point through Harry and Sejal that we all are seeking something.  We seek that something that we miss in people and things around us so that our weaknesses is complemented with their strengths and in the process, we become complete together as ‘One’.

Harry, a travel guide working with Euro Travels is also a womanizer and according to him has been fired many times by his bosses and had to shift places to continue in his profession. He is aware of his weakness and he also tries hard to overcome this vice but admits nonchalantly that he finally falls prey to it. He is also found to escape by being confronted by his past girlfriends.
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Harry’s carefree life takes a turn when one of his tourist, Sejal, a Gujarati from India, decides to stay back in Amsterdam to search her lost engagement diamond ring by letting her fiancĂ© and family members to fly back to India. Sejal, a chirpy girl all set for her marriage doesn’t want to be listed as an irresponsible girl who lost a diamond ring gifted by her fiancĂ© and is determined not to live with that tag for the rest of her life. Sejal has no other option but to hold Harry for ransom with a threat that she will complain to his boss if he doesn’t accompany her. Harry for fear of losing his job and being deported from Europe decides to reluctantly be with Sejal in her search for her ring.

Imtiaz Ali’s effort to convey a beautiful message gets diluted due to its lengthy, repetitive, pointless and dumb scenes. The various locations Harry and Sejal travels in search of the ring is depicted by a map that pops up at regular intervals whereas all the locations seem same. After every hug, they land up at a new foreign location. What is interesting to note is, at one point of time Sejal herself says that all the places look the same. I wonder, whether Imtiaz himself realized late that he didn’t  make the places look distinct in his film nor his scenes. Imtiaz Ali falters in justifying the romance between Harry and Sejal by not giving us compelling reasons to believe what is happening onscreen. He also doesn’t build up the character of Harry in regard to why and how he left his family in Punjab and migrated to Europe. There is just a fleeting mention that he wanted to become a singer and at one point of time sings at full throttle a Punjabi song justifying that it is because he got used to singing louder than his tractor’s sound on the field.
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Shah Rukh Khan as Harrinder Singh aka Harry tries hard to give his best performance but at times looks tired, over doing things and aged. Anushka Sharma as Sejal sounds different because of her Gujarati accent and has given a decent performance. As actors both of them seems to be aware of the superficial and forced romantic scenes and dialogues. The two have shared the screen space for the third time. There past onscreen outing Rab Ne Banadhi Jodi and Jab Tak Hi Jaan were far better and had a better audience too.
It is unfortunate to mention that Shah Rukh Khan who has done such wonderful movies in the past, is found off late not so deft in choosing the right kind of stories and films he should be doing.

The songs and background score are ok. Lyrics by Irshad Kamil are good. In short, Jab Harry Met Sejal, the audience keep wondering why they met and by that time when they realize, they find the credit lines roll on the screen. Imtiaz Ali, no doubt has offered good movies like Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kal, Rockstar, Highway and Tamasha etc but this time he seems to be carried away by his own fancies somewhere getting disconnected with his huge audience who love his kind of films. What I would suggest is, if you are a diehard fan of SRK, go for it, otherwise, give a skip and wait for him to come up next time with a better one.

.Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 2/5

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan (Harrinder Singh aka Harry), Anushka Sharma (Sejal Zaveri), Aru Krishansh Verma (Mayank), Evelyn Sharma (Neha), Chandan Roy Sanyal (Gas)

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Director: Imtiaz Ali

Producer: Gauri Khan

Written by: Imtiaz Ali

Music by: (Songs) Pritam, Diplo; (Background Music) Hitesh Sonik

Edited by: Aarti Bajaj

Cinematography: KU Mohanan

Production Company: Red Chillies Entertainment

Distributor: Yash Raj Films

Release Date: 4th July, 2017

Language: Hindi

Duration: 146 Minutes