Krrish 3 Movie Review

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Krrish 3 Movie Review

Krrish 3

Krrish 3

I am a superhero faaaaan, a biology student and loved the first half of Hulk as much as the one post interval. So my super-excitement for superheroes is justfied in this super-long post.

First things first. Nothing in the world is original. Not you, not me, we are all replicas of our parents, through the DNA. Forget us, everything is the universe is made up star-stuff! And random permutation and combinations of H, O, N and C. Then why do we criticize movies saying it is copied? The acclaimed LOTR was adapted from novels. Oscars are there for Adapted Screenplays. Yes, only a JRR or Leonardo Da Vinci or Einstein can be original. Respect. Rest all is inspired or copied. We are not original. Lets accept that. We love to imitate. To copy. The Best. So what? Its not plagiarism. If we don’t claim it to be original, it should be fine. Now that we are clear, lets move ahead.

Krrish 3 is an epic superhero Bollywood movie, not only for the VFX used but also for the sheer efforts put in without messing it up. It raises the standard which the earlier editions had created. It is the backbone of Indian sci-fi and superheroes, which, lets say, Mr. India had started and Shaktimaan popularised. Yes, here 90% of the movie is copied from Hollywood blockbusters, mostly from the X-Men (you can clearly tell which character here is who in the inspirational one) and bits of Superman, Terminator and the like. And we all know that. But the way the movie is showcased is brilliant stuff. No mess-ups which I had anticipated. I mean, I clearly believe most of the special effects are Hollywood standard inspite of being original, not cut-copy-paste from a dozen ones like Ra.One. Yes, there are flaws. Chaand pe bhi to daag hai na, still the ‘nirjal vrat’ Karwachauth lady sees it before her husband, right? So lets accept stuff which is good and ignore the rest!

Starting with the typical Marvel type overview-recollection of the previous episodes, the movie shows the grownup Krrish with Priya, his dad, their research, the evil Kaal, his research and ‘search’ and the fights with a unique desi twist at the end.

It also showcases biowarfare, mutation, Genetic Engineering along with love, romance, revenge and action. A dozen others might have tried but Krrish 3 doesn’t fail here. It passes well. Where it doesn’t do too good is the slow pace in between the awesome scenes, the avoidable character building, the poor songs and the lack of energy towards the climax (a very well wasted effort there)

By now you would have got a good dose of all the creations of Kaal and their powers. The good part is they are not without reason in the movie. The purpose is shown very clearly and their existence justified. The fight scenes with them involved are really good. Commendable by our standards. What I mean is don’t compare them with a Bryan Singer or Joss movie. But yeah, its good as per our standards. The VFX doesn’t appear ch*****pa (I noticed a couple of such scenes in D3) and I am glad for that.

Action deserves a special mention here. You would be reminded of Man of Steel. Of Avengers. With Antilla being demolished, the Mumbai touch is at its pinnacle. No, bridges are not moved yet. But every frame is oh-la-la.

The most important part to remember is this – a superhero movie can be made and well addressed to its fanboys only and only when there is a concrete base of storyline with his powers and villains known beforehand. In short, a novel to have explained everything earlier. In this case, it is very difficult to explain the powers and concept after the movie is out – the director needs to define the concept, create it, exemplify it, justify it and then see its results! Phew. Totally unjust. Superman shoots laser with his eyes and we clap because we have been reading about it since 1930s but Krrish flies at Mach 3 and we say WTF! Not justified na!

Hrithik is at his best as Krrish with the raw and intense look on his face, though not good as Krishna but very good as the dad Mr Mehra too. Piggy Chops is the eye candy. Kangana seems to finally act somehow. And the most impt- Vivek Oberoi as Kaal. In the first half, he looks as if why-am-I-here and feels like trying too hard now-that-I-am-already-here (I missed Naseer) but gradually in the second half (watch to know why I differentiated like this) brings the fear alive. His best role till date, post SAL. I am sure he has watched Dr. Hannibal Lecter dozens of times! He partially succeeds.

There is something else which I would love to explain and defend (dozens out there would be making fun of this but I stand my ground, the superhero fanboy I am) – Everything in the world is transformed by love/lust and can work wonders: herein a mutated organism changes her/its ‘heart’ when she is touched lovingly/lustfully (again, you need to watch the movie to know more!). Secondly, new concepts are always defined and created (you would understand more only after watching the movie) Its like the post-dated cheque. Now, you cannot say Prof. Charles Xavier being alive in X-Men DOFP after being departiculated earlier or Agent Colson alive in Avengers AOU after being dead is properly justified and correct on one hand and say “dimaag wala filter” concept and the light particles are crap and kiddish! Dude, there is a theory behind it, just waiting for it to be revealed on time. Just because its not in novels and unknown to us doesn’t mean its crap!!! Sci-fi and superhero movies have this freedom to experiment and do a comeback.

Time for FilmKraft to come up with a novel or atleast sponsor me to write for them

Overall, the movie is a must-watch for all those who love fights, biology, Hrithik, superheroes and Shaktiman.

Improvements could have been made in the pumping of energy towards climax and removal of unneccessary songs. For those who only worship Cameron and Speilberg, go and watch Gravity again.

4/5 for the supervillains and fights. You wouldn’t want to give them a miss at all.

Foolish consumers, brand ambassadors and the Admantium phone

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Foolish consumers, brand ambassadors and the Admantium phone

Micromax and Hugh Jackman? WHAT THE F**K!!! This news ACTUALLY made me write this. For me, Wolverine and a desi brand is like Rolls-Royce and a beggar. No offence to anyone but still – No way man!!!

Micromax

Micromax

I am a big, big, big fan of superheroes. As much as I worship God, I worship Superheroes. Marvel, DC, doesn’t matter. For me, superheroes stir that superhero element in you which give you that extra-kick, push, lift – whatever, to go that extra mile. Mere recollection of superhero supermoments in movies (sorry, never read their comics) gives me an adrenaline rush. And today some desi mobile assembler pinched me hard!

This desi mobile assembler, harsh though I am, is the second biggest mobile seller in one of the fastest growing markets in the world. It has crossed the 2 million units mark in shipments and with a market share of around 22%, is just behind Samsung which has 26% for Q2 2013 as per IDC. In less than half a decade, it has taken the world’s largest democracy by storm, literally forcing Korean giants to come up with cheaper models and thus, empowering the aam-aadmi with a ‘smartphone’ – which, otherwise, he may have just dreamt of! By the way, you need to read this.

I had learnt in my MBA that branding is the SINGLE most important feature of any product. A good product will sell due to its virtues, branding or no branding but ANY product will sell if it is branded well. Chennai Express, Ek Tha Tiger – Bollywood is full of examples. But real products and concepts? Yes, we have seen celebrities selling us ideas and beauties like Sonali Bendre convincing us to use washing powder brands as body soaps!!! And how we fall for it.

That’s the power of branding. Celebrities make it all the more easy. We all have preconceived notions of stars in our minds. Associating them with any product makes the product positioning stronger in our brains. So if we respect and admire Sachin, even if he promotes a lowly beedi (which I am sure he would never), that beedi’s perceived value would rise in our minds. That is precisely how any dumb, chillar product can become a brand and that is what marketers cash on – it is their masterstroke. SRK, Katrina, anyone. Nokia, Lux, anything. That’s the power of branding.

Today, reading this news, I was flabbergasted, shocked, traumatized and shattered. How could a Hollywood A-lister, an Oscar anchor, the only Superhero to act in the same role in maximum number of films accept an offer from a brand that is still not a A-lister in pure brand perception terms in its own country of origin? For a couple of million dollars, how could The Wolverine say yes without knowing what the brand personality and brand equity the brand carries? Does he even know how much damage he has done to the brand of Wolverine by endorsing Micromax? Did his PR team did enough research before saying yes? Did they even Google the brand value it carries? Or did they get blown away by the number of zeroes the paper had or the number of cities Micromax has offices in. Atleast for me, the Admantium is breakable now.

Hats off to the team which pitched the offer to Logan’s representative. Cheers guys! You just earned a virtual PhD in Extraordinary Sales Pitch. I would love to see the ppt which you guys presented to Jackman’s PR team (surely you guys didn’t pitch by gifting the Canvas Turbo or Canvas Shoe or whatever) and would embed it in my blog. Any interview you give in which you reveal your strategy of pitching would become a case-study at the IIMs for sure. Well done folks! Kudos.

Wolverine, you just disappointed me. It is not about endorsing Micromax or Samsung or Gillette or Rolls-Royce. It is about not knowing your worth, your brand value, your virtual equity which you commanded. The respect superhero fanboys had for you. The time we back-counted for each of your movies to release. The adulation your scenes got. You just lost it Logan, you just lost it! Go back to hibernation.

NB – I personally believe more in quality than mere branding. But somehow Micromax doesn’t fit in that branded frame in my mind. Very personal belief. Hence even when I had to buy a cheap second phone, I preferred a Nokia B/W than a Micromax color QWERTY. Call me a fool, I may be, all consumers are foolish J

 

Boss Movie Review

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The Boss is always right, oops! Not this time Sir!!!

Boss

Boss

That one name which is ubiquitously found, from addressing your senior in the corporate to addressing an unknown person. Boss. That one name which gives respect, command and authority. Boss. The origin of the century old saying. Boss. Amply personified in this movie.

Akshay Kumar is the King of all entertainers and action. Since his Khiladi era, he has managed to woo us all with this wits, humor, comedy and action. Entertaining one and all. Never losing sight of the plot. And here also, the Singh is King hero proves that the Boss is always right. Ummm. Though not exactly!

Set in the land of the ancient Indian battles, Kurukshetra (read: Haryana), the movie revolves around (lots and lots of trucks) the Haryanvi ‘gangster’ Boss (Akshay Kumar) who is trying to save his brother (the not-so-smart Shiv Pandit) from the villainous cop Ronit Roy and also trying to unite him with his love and unfortunately Roy’s gorgeous sister Aditi Rao Hydari. If this was not enough, he is also trying to prove his innocence in his strict father’s eyes (the schoolmaster Mithun da) as he has messed up his childhood. And yeah, Danny is Boss’s mentor – the Big Boss.

The movie has a not-so-exciting start. With too much of flashback which shows and narrates how Akshay got embroiled in one controversy after other and repeatedly reprimanded by his father in his childhood, it swiftly lands in the present where the hero is the goonda-cum-contract killer – in the guise of his operations, as the Transport King. And the songs, fights, comedy continues.

The comedy is the usual Akshay type, you can ignore a few lines but at the end, you will end up laughing (even if the person next to you was continuously guffawing). A few of the fight sequences are really good, complete with the bone cracking sounds, but overall its thanda. The music is rocking, the typical Honey Singh.

Akshay Kumar’s acting is as it was a decade ago. If you had liked him then, you would like him even today. If you had hated him then, you would. Still. The look, the carefree attitude, the style. You love him or you hate him getting irritated. Mithun da as the self-respecting father is as good as he was in Guru. Johnny Lever tries hard to do comedy with his triple act of hiccups-sneeze-coughing in one second and yes, he succeeds at times.  Shiv Pandit – don’t remember seeing him anywhere. He is good in the fights but not so good when you position him as a chocolate boy. Or atleast Aditi’s lover boy.

The pick of the movie is Ronit Roy. He shows such raw style and cold-blooded power that you might just want to put him at par with Irrfan Khan or Manoj Bajpai. Impeccable style with the Ray-Ban and the polo tees when he is not wearing his crisp uniform, he performs the negative role all the more gracefully than one would have imagined. Kudos! And of course there is the one and only Aditi Rao Hydari. Did I mention that I had come to see this movie only for her bikini scene? Come on! Of course I am kidding😛

What’s good: The young guy who plays Akshay’s childhood role. He has that look of always-ready-to-fight stuck up on his face 24X7. The underlying devotion which Akshay shows for his father inspite of the latter always thinking of him as a good-for-nothing brat and the background score might make one emotional at times. One element of suspense. (Please DON’T READ Wikipedia) The one-liners. Ronit Roy’s acting is class. The music is the complete party type. Akshay is the entertainer you always wanted. And Ms. Rao and her oomph.

What’s bad: The movie doesn’t have the revenge or vengeance factor. Sorry but yes. This is the truth. The brute force you see in the hero’s eyes when he comes to avenge his father’s near-death moment is unfortunately missing. Nowhere, absolutely nowhere, would you find the real action with all its ferocity as you would have seen in the climax of, say Dabanng – forget Commando and other Sallu fight movies. I waited. And waited. And waited for it. The movie doesn’t have the happy or excited feel throughout, plus quite a few lame moments. The romance is clearly missing between the lead characters. There is just one Boss here around whom the movie revolves. Plus Sonakshi’s guest appearance seems a complete waste.

What would sell more now: Logical product placements of Dollar Bigboss premium vests. The finger-rings with BOSS embossed. The movie is sure to rake in the majority of the moolah from the North circles. And also a bit from south as it seems to be a remake.

To watch or not to: One time watch if you have liked Housefull 2 and Welcome and can tolerate it. Yes, for Aditi and Ronit Roy. No, if you only love movies like Lunch-box and Ship of Theseus.

3 stars. Could have been much better. And longer. Especially the bikini sequence😉 But it was surely not worth the match which I missed😦

Tata Crucible Business Quiz 2013 – Mumbai Corporate Edition

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Tata Crucible

Tata Crucible

Taj Lands End Serves A Seven-Course Intellectual Buffet

Aha, now this is something different and very close to my heart! Quizzing. And a review of one of the most acclaimed and respected national quizzes. The Tata Crucible Business Quiz 2013. And here it begins…

The sea-facing Taj Lands End ballroom had a different kind of guests today: the youth who will power India’s tomorrow. More than 400 avid quizzes, representing every company worth its salt in Mumbai, had come to participate in the 10th edition of the corporate biz-quiz. From TCS to Games2win, IBM to L&T, the ballroom was bombarded with intellectual giants. Giri Balasubramanium, fondly known as ‘Pickbrain’ (weird, considering you just ‘pick’ your nose, he actually does that with the grey cells of your brain! Btw, his company is also known as Greycaps!) started the quiz bang on time, proving once again the punctuality he is known for. The prelims had 25 questions, few as easy as ‘Which music artist is the first to get 1 million likes on Instagram?’ to medium ones like ‘Which country has 67% of the companies listed as family-held entities?’ to tough ones like ‘Which soap was launched to counter Hamam in 1946, now a HUL brand?’ Participants loved the questions. A few hints Giri gave generously and the audience lapped it up.

The Prelims were over in 45 minutes and all the brainies postmortemed the questions over tea, coffee and cookies. As usual, like it happens in all gatherings of this scale, the cookies ran out much faster than folks had expected! The standards set by Taj got lowered a little.

The answers were then announced: it broke the hearts of a few and rushed adrenaline in the veins of others. 18/25 was announced as the cut-off. Those who had calculated their scores were seen biting nails!

The Mumbai round for the top 6 teams of Tata group companies (Tata group companies have a separate round by the name of Tata Track, thus segregating them from other companies) started and got over in a breeze. Tata vs Tata is not much interesting, considering the Tata group has a rich intra-company quizzing culture.

The round for non-Tata companies was the one which interested the majority. Interestingly, one of the six shortlisted teams’ one teammate (Quikr’s) had left due to some emergency, so the 7th team was lucky enough to be called on stage and replace Quikr. Boy, they had luck on their side or they battled like they were fighting death, they came out winning the Mumbai round!!! No words to describe how they evaded every Giri bouncer and hit every loose one for a six. They received a thunderous applause, every bit of which they deserved.

And then the Western Regionals began. Teams had come from as far as Goa and Nagpur to claim their right to the throne of being the Western Champions. The Ahmedabad team had veterans (literally) who could easily be mistaken for the grandparents of a few other participants. Such passion still running in their blood is infectious. How I envy them! I would not go into the details of the questions here but the topics were as diverse as you could imagine. A complete seven course meal served in the Taj, but this time intellectual in nature! The battles concluded after lots of greycells’ bloodshed: IBM Mumbai won, closely followed by Savoir Faire of Goa. To meet 6 other Regional Winners to fight for the Nationals in mid-Oct, again in Mumbai. And boy, they went home richer by tens of thousands.

With questions ranging from how a bra manufacturer made spacesuits to the army in which JRD served, it was actually a day well spent.

What could have been better: Giri should have more audience prizes, that’s the first thing which comes to my mind. Also, the audience engagement should have a higher quotient like Derek O’Brien does. Every quizmaster has his own style still suggestions should be taken from all: implementing or not is a choice. I expected Giri to congratulate the ‘elderly’ Ahmedabad team but he didn’t. One ‘mistake’ in terms of authenticity of answers was discovered by one of the audience sitting next to me. The energy seemed low at times, or may be prelims, Mumbai Regionals and Western Regionals back-to-back was tiring.

The crowd dispersed slowly, each much richer in intellectual terms, promising himself and herself to clear the prelims next year…

(This article has been penned to interest even a non-quizzer, prelim questions of this round can be shared upon request)

The Lunchbox Review

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The Lunchbox

The Lunchbox

The Lunchbox: Review 4 stars

“You fall in love when you are not in love, not when it is around and you fail to acknowledge it.”

Seems like this year I am getting all brilliant movies to see. But alas, not matching my taste. Sorry, I am not into ‘art’ or ‘parallel’ cinema or get moolah to do some PR. I write my heart out. Just like the previous ‘art’ movie I saw, I got shocked today again when it ended and I was expecting more. Déjà vu!!! Following the footsteps of Ship of Theseus and Lootera comes another awesome piece of work which speaks little but you hear a lot! Lunchbox. Hungry kya? Read on…

What do you do when the spark seems to have gone away from a relationship you are in? What do you do when you are face-to-face with ingratitude day in, day out; not even from the only person you expect? What do you do when some new, tempting but unethical, relation seems to be knocking your door? Do you give in to the temptation or do you shut door on it and return home? The movie answers these questions through Ritesh Batra’s viewpoint.

So if you are still reading this post, you know by now (not through this post, but through the trailers) that two people exchange love letters via the lunchbox a.k.a. the Dabba.

Well, I would have rather named it The Dabbawala’s Mistake or rather The One in a Million Mistake. Why? Oh, didn’t you know? The Mumbai Dabbawalas are given the prestigious six-sigma ranking for quality control, allowing them the luxury of just one mistake in a million. And that one mistake changes the lives of two people who, actually, haven’t even seen each other. Well, there is a brief reference to Harvard as well😉

My vocabulary of this great British language is limited. So pardon me if I use the word brilliant, awesome and marvelous again and again. Well, this film deserves it. All of it. This is like Fabindia clothes, simple and sober but only the one who wears enjoys it and the one who appreciates knows the brand equity it commands. With some extraordinary, out-of-the-Universe scenes which you have to ‘experience’ to understand the depth (I loved one scene so much, I am still absorbing it), the movie is no doubt slow and steady, but surprises you with sprinkles of humor and childish pleasure as well. It is like the fragrance you feel in a temple. You have to enter in to feel it. And it can’t be written in words. Or expressed. Just experienced.

Shot in ‘real’ Mumbai, the movie showcases the hustle and bustle of this Mega Millennial city, the locals, the ‘gardi’ in the First Class to the ‘groping’ in the General, the BEST buses, the typical auto and even the notorious traffic jams. The journey of a Dabbawala. Bandra to Malad. The occasional suicides, including L What I liked specially is, the characters speak exactly the lingo a typical Mumbaikar speaks. Mind you, I am not saying other movies don’t but what I mean is, other than most famous Bombaiyya words, this movie speaks Mumbai as typical Mumbaikars do. With all the typical grammar errors which a Delhite would immediately notice. And bang, what I have heard around me in the last one year IS what I hear in this movie too. Wow!

What is amazing is the movie has NO background score but still engages you throughout. I mean, you expect some music to play when the characters are silent. Right? No, not here. Here you simply swallow and digest the words they speak. And they create the ambience. And weave the story around it. 35 years of discipline broken by an unruly trainee. 15 years of asceticism broken by a frustrated married lady. A husband flirting in office to the extent that he doesn’t even ‘touch’ his wife who stands in front of him in her honeymoon clothes!

The movie showcases lives of two people, interconnected by only one connection – loneliness. While one character, the housewife, is trying hard to get close to her husband’s heart through his stomach, trying to get him finish the Lunch in the Box daily, the other character who has lived his life the same way, engrossed in himself and work since a decade and more (see the movie to know the math), has not even realized he has grown old. They communicate through a lunchbox daily wrongly delivered (inadvertently, of course) and build a relationship purely based on emotions shared and letters exchanged. The relationship climbs to such heights that they are about to take major decisions based on the common platform they are on. And they find ‘love’. But do they, or don’t? You need to watch the movie for this!

Roles: It goes without saying that no matter what/when/where Irrfan Khan plays, he takes away the entire spotlight. Here too, you wouldn’t recognize him when you see him first. He blends into the character that much. But no, not here. Nimrat Kaur, who plays the role of the typical, lonely, scared-of-asking-her-husband-anything housewife, shares the dais with him. This lady has so marvelously portrayed the character that you won’t realize she is acting: it seems that natural for her. Hats off ma’am! And how can one forget Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Appearing a buffoon at first, fooling around, he creates his character depth through revelations throughout the story. One amazing role is played by Deshpande aunty, whom you would never see in the movie, but who is the ‘sutradhaar’ of the entire movie. Just like the Ship of Theseus, character brilliance is unparalleled in here.

What’s wrong with the essence: We all have problems and loneliness in our lives, at some stage or another. Do we start an extra-marital relation just because there is a little low in the love we share with our spouses? Or better still, will a mother of a ten year old girl start sharing her emotions and dissatisfaction with her husband to a completely unknown stranger, and that too via a letter in a lunchbox? Or does the father only have the right to? I believe neither. And is this how love happens? Infatuation, perhaps (Ask me, I can still write a thesis to differentiate the two). Sorry, I beg to differ.

Love is one thing, complaining about your relationship and considering the other person to be your Agony Aunt is another thing.

What’s wrong with the script: Won’t you recognize if your lunchbox is changed? Won’t you feel uncomfortable if suddenly, instead of wife-cooked home food, you are given hotel cooked food? And that too for days in a row? At least I would. Would you start a relationship with some stranger, even without knowing gender, and tell your problems in the second conversation? The entire movie is based on this fallacy/hypothesis.

My take: The portrayal of the story and acting is brilliant. Character development is as expected. The Himalayan emotional highs compensate for the plateau of slow motion at times. What I felt lacking was the slight illogical bend in the script itself. Unreal for a movie which has almost everything real. But good enough to order my own Lunchbox a.k.a. Dabba from Monday😉

4/5

Grand Masti Review

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G(R)AND MASTI: Review              Only for adults with a mental age of 18 years and above. Females, read at your own risk

Yes, the R in Grand is kept in brackets purposefully. The movie has that, exactly. Welcome to the laugh-riot indecent sleaze comedy fest. Sleaze but no sex. And I LOVED IT. It was like a buffet of my most loved dishes.  That ‘yummy’.

Grand Masti

Grand Masti

A for ass and not for apple. B for boobs and not for ball. C for, well, leave it, and not for cat (and its not condom). The first thing a ‘normal’ guy does in a new college is have a glance at the gals there. If a skimpily clad chick is around you in a shopping mall, one would resist hard not ogling at but eventually will ‘check’ her out. A guy in the age group of 18-28 will always be thinking of copulating once a day when skin show goes around him. Hormones cause extra blood flow and the spongy tissue gets activated. Now, when in real life this happens and is perfectly fine, why cry hoarse when happening in reel life?

The real problem with these kinds of movies are 99% people who publicly abhor and badmouth them might like them in private/close knit group but have to disown the emotions, thanks to the social stature they represent. They would love American Pie and their favorite edition would be Beta House but still would say ‘cheapu’ to Desi Bollywood. Well, I write my heart out. So, thankfully, I do what I love to do!

Coarse. Crude. Lewd. Unrefined. Cheap. Call it anything! A cent percent guy’s movie. Vulgarly hilarious. Mind-blowing awesome. Full of ‘cheap’ acts which you would have enjoyed in college and may be still enjoy but won’t reveal it to all, lest your social image tumbles. But contemporary. Thanks to the painstakingly wonderfully written one-liners which would make you laugh till your stomach hurts. Aches. And tears roll from your eyes!

I was confident not to give in the temptation to watch this ‘dirty’, ‘chi-chi’, ‘vulgar’, ‘cheap’ movie, forget reviewing. But when I heard people around me were too curious to know how the movie is, I thought: that’s it. I am going to watch it with a straight face, won’t laugh at sick non-veg jokes and will walk out mid-way claiming vulgarity. That was my plan. But I was surprised to see the theater house-full, with even girls and ladies and families (no kids) which I never expected. So what I am penning down is a mixed reaction of mine plus the crowd around me. So don’t brand me as a ‘tharki’ post reading this!

Our three guys from the original Masti, released years ago, are still ‘hard’ and ‘itching’ to get laid. Vivek, Aftab and Ritesh don the role of college students first and then sexually frustrated husbands who, unable to get physical satisfaction from their loving, gorgeous wives, go babe-hunting in their college reunion. They meet their fantasies and well, as each rose has a thorn, they try not to get pricked and still enjoy the fragrance!

Every single cast has acted well here. If not through acting itself, then by showing off their ‘important’ assets. Six gorgeous ladies who show more skin and less clothes ensure that not a moment in the movie bores you. Manforce condoms was an associate sponsor: I wouldn’t have been surprised even if Viagra was! Yes, lots and lots of cleavage would make you wonder whether the movie was given an A or an AAA! Pradeep Rawat, the original Mahabharat’s Ashwatthama and the recent Ghajini (yes, Aamir was not Ghajini in that movie, this guy was), plays the perfect anti-womanizer Principal and an encyclopedia of ‘famous sentences of famous people’, with a quote at his every appearance. Again, all the chicks are worth looking, hmm, ogling at.

The best part of this movie is that the supposedly-vulgar scenes are not there just for name-sake, like you would see in Rascals. I didn’t find a single scene out of place to be frank. The scenes are there to make the situation hilarious but with a sexual angle to it. Well, that is mostly what a guy has in his head, so why deny it now? Bollywood movies are supposed to be enjoyed and relished, keeping your logic aside and your rationale at home. So is with this movie. You don’t question how come a Russian model is in a two piece bikini in a University in Baroda, right, and that too as a student! Enjoying the scenes as they come and not being conscious of what the guy next to you would think if you laugh is the ideal way to savor this 135 minutes laugh-riot. Don’t worry, chances are he too would be laughing his ass off.

Every single dialogue has words rhyming to give a porno/sexual touch, may be sounding cheap but extremely enjoyable. A compilation would make an excellent ‘forward’ for WhatsApp and share on FB as poetry. The background score and Ritesh’s comic actions would make you clap hands at times. Mind you, there are scenes which you would have exactly contemplated doing at some stage in your life or seen someone in your friend circle doing it or thinking aloud.

All the words you have blacklisted as bad and their synonyms and desi equivalents are used abundantly and that is exactly where it touches the chord. What you think/see around you is there on the screen. Bingo!!!

Yes, there are couple of dialogues which may seem obscene, like the chick with ample cleavage shown saying ‘meri do doodh ki factories hai’ but I strongly believe, movies are scripted and adapted from society. These things exist among us, and the director has merely attempted to showcase it nicely. Denying things doesn’t stop them from existing!

The latter part of the second half might seem slightly slow compared to the fast paced initial scenes, which was the only complaint I had. When the songs came, I was too engrossed ‘seeing’ the songs than hearing, so can’t comment on it. And mind you: there is NO sex in the entire movie!!!

Not to watch: Well, if you are a high bred social animal who always filters words before it goes into your ears, seriously takes India’s National Pledge of ‘All Indians are… my sisters’, have never abused in Hindi, never called a girl ‘maal’ amongst your friends, then even reading this review is a ‘paap’ for you.

Well, I unfortunately went alone but still had a whale of a time. Especially because almost everyone in the hall was bursting into peals of laughter whenever a ‘non-veg’ liner came up. Go with your friends (I wouldn’t ever suggest family) and relive college time once again. Guaranteed experience of real G®and Masti!!!

Did anyone say the movie is essentially cheap? Come on now, even the Rupee has become cheap now, would you abandon using it???

4/5   Worth every single penny you spend.

Lalbaugcha Raja Ganeshotsav Mandal Mumbai Review

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Ganesh Galli Mumbaicha Raja

Ganesh Galli Mumbaicha Raja

Ganesh Galli

Ganesh Galli

Lalbaugcha Raja

Lalbaugcha Raja

And there you are My Lord!

And there you are My Lord!

The queue complex

The queue complex

The queue complex

The queue complex

The queue complex

The queue complex

Lalbaugcha Raja: First-timer experience, marketing insights & caution!

Born in a South Indian family, celebrating Ganesha Chaturthi was an important family tradition. And every year when Ganesh Chaturthi drew closer, I used to read newspapers singing praises of Lalbaugcha Raja Ganeshotsav Mandal, Mumbai: the largest in the world in terms of the sheer number of devotees visiting, brand equity it possesses and the historical proof of Him fulfilling wishes! So when I had the privilege to visit this revered Ganesh Mandal on the very first day of Ganesh Chaturthi, I thought I should share my hands-on experience:

I got down at Lower Parel railway station (western line) and after a leisure walk of ten minutes on east side (or five minutes from Currey Road station), I was bombarded with telecom hoardings on either side of the road, with rows of light bulbs which you would see only in Diwali or Navratri. This was the Pole Star for a newcomer like me and I followed it for around 300 meters. Soon I was face to face with a huge crowd trying to get inside of what was actually a decorated gate, specially constructed for the festivities. With a friend of mine, we stood in what was a general line queue and after around half an hour of jostling and being pushed around, we were face-to-face with the huge idol of Lord Ganesha smiling at us. A few pics later we were comfortably out in the open air. That’s it? So quick and soon? Like a breeze! Was this the God for whom I was waiting since years? Lucky us, we thought and proceeded ahead, partaking in the village fair-type stalls put up outside.

Suddenly one of the guys around asked me, Where was the main Lord Ganesha, Lalbaugcha Raja, named after the area it is located in, Lalbaug. I prompted replied, Dude- that’s from where you have just stepped out! He gave a wicked laugh and said, Looks like you are also not from this place, like me. This is not that, Lalbaugcha Raja should be ahead. I was dumbfounded. To confirm, I asked a passer-by who further seconded what I had just heard. Yeah, what we had visited was Ganesha Galli’s Mumbaicha Raja and not Lalbaugcha Raja! Ouch! That hurt. Considering I had already checked-in into the revered place on Facebook, I had to find out where it was and visit it.

An old gentleman asked us to follow him and some distance away we saw a long queue complex with hordes of people ‘patiently’ waiting to move ahead. Phew! The very sight gave me jitters. Still, gathering myself together and inspired by my friend, who kept on saying few more minutes, we walked ahead to search the entrance to the serpentine queue. While it seemed endless, we quickly jumped over a barricade and joined the crowd who were standing in at least half a dozen parallel lines, seemingly disciplined. Then the drama began! People who were already in the lines and who saw us joining them from between (along with a dozen other folks) began shouting and booing and pushing each other as a protest. While I and my friend managed to mix up in the crowd, few others were shooed away but still managed to join. And then started the journey to meet the Vigna-Harta!

The crowd, arranged in 6-7 parallel lines, had bamboo barricades on one side and shops, few of them open, on the other side. There were men and women, kids and babies, old people and youngsters, all jostling for space. At regular intervals, there were a handful of volunteers who ensured people move ahead only in batches. But there was no one to ensure people stand or behave in a disciplined manner. Every other person was pushing and the cascading effect began. Whenever new people jumped the barricades to join us (like we had done earlier), others pushed and a few inadvertently fell inside the shops! Babies were crying and kids howling. It seemed like we were in a Nazi concentration camp. Or in better words, inside a Virar local’s general compartment which has come after one hour. Or more politely, inside a local where people are just boarding at Dombivli. Only it was not in a train! Jam-packed. Suffocating.  A stampede-like situation. In the 150-odd meters we underwent this penance, a few had lost their slippers and a kid had lost her parents (fortunately reunited soon). The most important people who were supposed to take care of all this were found merrily eating vada-pav and bhaji-pav at the handcarts ahead- the ‘alert’ Mumbai Police on duty.

However, within seconds of this ordeal, we entered a huge, specially constructed hall, whose very purpose was to slowdown the tens of hundreds of people and make them move slowly. It was a huge queue complex, some 20-21 long parallel queue barricaded lines of around 30-35 meters each. It seemed heavenly with what we had just experienced outside. And with ceiling fans blowing out some air, we were relaxed and another journey of around 45 minutes began.

Security: Pathetic would be the best word. May be I expected more. Yes, there were CCTVs watching you but I am not sure if somebody was watching the CCTV to prevent any wrong-doing on the spot. Yes, there are RAF and CRPF outside to guard you. Outside I said. Three metal detectors kept, newly installed of course with their plastic coverings intact, didn’t even beep when we crossed to enter the hall. Lord Ganesha only knows if they were activated or not. This Ganesha Mandal was and is a sitting duck for someone to blow up, if people survive the stampede-like situation in the lines outside (new for me, may be usual for the regular janta)

Now some math: As I said there were around 21 parallel barricaded queue lines and with 3 lines accounting for almost 100 meters, around 700 meters of compulsory queue complex covered half the area. There was a small platform to climb after this and then again the whole arrangement was repeated! So around 1.5 kms to walk in that queue complex. With anywhere between 3000-4000 people stuck up in that place for at least 45-50 minutes (dynamically, of course), the marketing keeda in me raised a question: what is being catered to these 6000-8000 eyeballs for nearly an hour? Any advertiser worth his salt would die to be present there. You bet there were many!

2 huge screens (I don’t know what quality LED screens were they, as they appeared to be hurriedly arranged together) showcase some random ads without any continuity or theme, punctuated with blank test-screens. Yes, there were dozens of flex hoardings which showcased everything from Philips to WeChat to Docomo to Oye 104.8 FM. Even Zandu Balm, SBI and Lava mobiles had their say. From FMCG, Parle and some Goldiee Chhole Masala held their heads up. Zee Talkies supposedly sponsored the LED screens but it wasn’t Zee which was featured on the screens. No devotional songs blaring and no music CDs to be sold. No Ganesha tshirts and no social messages! I felt, surely I would have tried something better, even if they were gimmicks, to attract this potential target-group.

I was still wondering- a minimum of 6000 eyeballs, all yours for around an hour, and still it was not being exploited. Yes, there were a few smartly dressed Snicker sales staff selling the veg-versions but that’s it. Water was being supplied at a far-corner but no Aquaguard to showcase their 100% shuddh paani. It was quite smelly but no Agarbatti brand to promote its fragrance. It was warm but no Orient fans’ branding to make its mark. A religious gathering but no NGOs for blood/organ donation awareness. I spotted a couple of Govt. sponsored health banners but that’s it. Very static. May be marketers are still considering the Kumbh Mela to be the only religious gathering to be milked!

Anyways, we were soon out of the hall and became the part of the final queue (Phew!) to witness the Lord in all in His grandeur. I had seen the photos in the newspapers but nothing came even closer to see the Lord right in front of you. It was the Eureka moment which Arjun might have felt when he saw Lord Krsna in his Divine form in the battlefield. Lord Ganesha appeared indeed the Raja of the World, and not just Lalbaug, in his standing posture, as if inspiring millions who see Him.

I had a desire to see Him one more time. Upon enquiring I was told, though the place is open for visit all 11 days, all 24 hours, but the chances of a thin crowd are remote, even in the dead of night. Such is the devotion it commands! Soon the volunteers literally pushed us out to make way for others and there culminated my, and my friend’s, desire of many years of seeing the biggest, largest and most worshipped Lord Ganesha’s avatar at Lalbaugcha Raja. Outside the complex, there were scores of outlets selling photos and idols of the Lord in all his avatars and dozens of sweetmeat shops too, acting like the desserts after meals.

I was, and still am, introspecting. Do we need a festival to showcase our devotion? Or an idol to pretend that we are devoted and respect God and do well to our fellow beings? Aren’t we then still like the school kids who make noise when the teacher is absent and fall silent as soon as the teacher comes? Or are we just pretending to be good and devoted, even in front of the Lord? May be we are fooling ourselves. I am, still, introspecting. Om Ganeshaya Namah. May we all have a good beginning!

Zanjeer Review

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Zanjeer : Review    Only spoiler is the director has taken ‘pains’ to make it similar to the original

Mumbai me kuch log aane ke liye marte hein, kuch aake marte hein – this initial dialogue sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

When you have to compare a dish cooked by your mom with the same dish cooked by your wife, which one do you judge as better?

Do you feel an adrenaline rush when a single cop bends rules to thrash the baddies? Do you appreciate when a PYT romances and cuddles with a stone-faced guy and eventually melts him? Are you okay with a movie with a couple of item songs and a decent story with some flaws but overall good quality action movie? Then this is it!

Zanjeer

Zanjeer

This movie is not as adrenaline rushing like a proper action thriller nor it is full of romance as you would see in Shuddh Desi Ghee (or Romance, whatever!) This movie is good, not great, but certainly not as bad as you would be reading all over.  With Prakash Raj mouthing dialogues to a always-ready-to-bed Mahie Gill : “Mona, tum apna muh sirf ek cheez ke liye kholna”, this has its share of raunchiness as well, adding to the action and romance!

Comparing two different things with the same parameter is as good as asking an elephant and monkey to climb a tree. It is humiliating both and making the exercise futile. Rather, things should be seen in isolation and judged as per the circumstances around it. The real problem comes, in movies, when the director himself claims the newer version is not just inspired, but exactly made like the older one. And fails!

Apoorva Lakhia has made the mistake of branding this movie as a frame-by-frame remake of the original 1973 classic. And there exactly lies the hara-kiri. Good in itself, the movie fails when you compare it with a 40 year old legend! How on earth he thought he could? Even if Amitabh tries today, he simply cannot, CANNOT, recreate the magic that charmed us then. If claiming it to be an exact remake of the original was bad, worse is trying to put scenes and dialogues verbatim like the old one, even when it doesn’t make sense and is of no use.  Dumb, real dumb branding.

Set against the backdrop of oil mafia and adulteration (instead of adulterated and smuggled liquor four decades ago), the movie showcases South powerhouse Chiranjeevi’s son Ram Charan as ACP Vijay Khanna along with the sexy Pee Cee as the NRI witness (from the chaaku-churi one) to the murder around which the movie revolves.

Ram Charan is the new Hulk of Bollywood. With a face which has the unshaven look and that Hulkish look of mess-with-me-and-you-are-f****d, he IS the angry, young man today. Surely no comparison with Big B of yesteryears but yeah, better than the many of today’s newcomers. He plays the role of ACP extremely well, full of anger stuffed inside and ready to explode on the criminals. One is reminded of Sunny Deol from Indian movie, Sallu in Garv and Akshay Kumar from Mohra when ones sees him beating the pulp out of the rogues and bending laws to protect justice. Unlike Chulbul, without being corrupt. He exactly fits the role of the no-emotion-only-action stone cold steel faced terminator of rogues.

Pee Cee, as usual, looks drop dead gorgeous and beautiful once again. With her trademark romantic acts and cuteness, she not only manages to melt the stone-hearted hero but ours too. And yeah, looks REAL HOT in the Pinky song! Prakash Raj, again, is someone whom you can never miss. His comedy plus baddie role is something what we all crave for, post Wanted. He justifies every single moment on the screen and more so with his Mona Darling, the show-all Mahie Gill! Atul Kulkarni also plays his role smartly, though his screen space is far less than others.

Sanjay Dutt looks dashing with his beard and attire in his avatar as Sher Khan, the invincible. His powerpacked punches never spare any baddie and despite a few dialogue delivery failures, he manages to put his act together and steal the show many times.

Also, I am sure Bewakoof.com has started selling I❤ Mumbai Police tees. Else it is sure to be available in the flea markets outside Mumbai local stations.

Old is Gold: If you still remember the golden words “Yeh Police station hai… tumhare baap ka ghar nahin”, then you are for a disappointment as the current version is nowhere near the golden classic dialogue. I loved the Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram background score when our hero goes on a purifying mission!

Good: Ram Charan’s Hulkish face with that anger coupled with Arnold’s Terminator like no-emotion-only-action look, Pee Cee’s romance, Prakash Raj’s  buffoonery but anti-hero performance, Sanju Baba’s acting last appreciated in Agneepath. Perfectly ended for a sequel.

Bad: Purposefully trying to mould this storyline into the ’73 version has created gaps at few places

Watch this movie if you are a fan of action movies, especially cops thrashing the baddies ones (Indian, Singham genre), a policewalla singlehandedly screwing the villains and a fan of Priyanka. The witty one-liners by Prakash Raj has the right amount of humour this movie needs. Mahie and the item songs provide the oomph factor. And Ram Charan is seriously the angry, young man.

Skip this for Shuddh Desi Ghee (oh, romance!) if you are still stuck up in the 1970s, want to spend the weekend in love-shove-romcoms and are as away from action as Teflon is from oil! Yeah, cousins clashing here!

3.5 stars for the movie WITHOUT comparing to the original

And yeah, to answer the question, if you happen to be a South Indian and expect your North Indian wife to make Dosas as good as your mom, surely you would be disappointed, won’t you?

Madras Cafe Review

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MADRAS CAFÉ: Review    No spoilers, unless you are still in the primary classes

Madras Cafe

Madras Cafe

One man’s revolutionary is another man’s terrorist. This statement holds equally good for Che Guevara as it does for Bhagat Singh. The question is: does it hold good for Rajiv Gandhi as much as it did for Prabhakaran? Did we do a Vietnam through our IPKF? If these names don’t ring a bell, please don’t read further or watch the movie. Spend your weekend doing the Lungi Dance, dobaraa. Others, read on…

Chennaites, please forgive the title. We have moved on from 1991, so let us move on here also rather than fighting that now its Chennai and not Madras. No, neither is the movie predominantly set in Madras nor is Café Coffee Day involved anywhere. Still the movie’s crux is seemingly Madras Café. Yes, it is. More about India – Sril Lanka politics. And you thought India-SL face-off means only Sachin-Murli !!!

We all remember our national leaders and ‘respect’ them, dead or alive. But to bring back the memories of one of the most deadly assassinations of the world’s largest democracy is a commendable effort. Shoojit Sircar does the same here. Trying his best to recreate the May 21st, 1991 Rajiv Gandhi assassination without naming the organization/s involved or the actual people involved in the story, he creates quite a good attempt, giving a much more than a helicopter view about the happening to the 1990s born, who wouldn’t be having a clue of the why, what and how it happened. Was India such a feared superpower-in-the-making that an ex-PM had to be killed to maintain chaos in the region?

With a gloomy beginning in Jaffna in Sri Lanka, where the Sinhalese fought the Tamils for years to drive them out, the movie is much more of a war and spy movie in the first half. With almost actual scene recreations, all you see is bloodshed and corpses most of the time. Then comes the political involvement: how countries try to exploit smaller, vulnerable countries for their own strategic/political benefits, how in the guise of friendship backstabbing happens and the victim finally are the common citizens. Things which happened decades ago, happens today and which will happen for decades more too! War is evil and has repercussions: whether civil or international. 9/11 led to Iraq attack, Pearl Harbour led to US entry in WWII and now this.

But who would want to know what/why/how exactly some gory things happened more than two decades ago when we all have moved on and the root cause of the entire episode is seemingly ‘wiped out’? Well, we need to know because some things shouldn’t be forgotten. The sacrifices of a select few in trying to do the better for a vast majority. And how other ‘vultures’ milk the situation. We need to remember how international politics work and how the politics of war and the economics of war affect each other.

Set perfectly in the timeline from the start where LTTE was a fledging (here known as LTF) and Prabhakaran, the LTTE hero was not a big name, the movie perfectly describes all the incidents which forced the LTTE to become for what it was feared: brutality and ruthless violence. The killings of his men, the Peace Accord which India-Sri Lanka signed, the IPKF sent and later recalled, the resignation of Rajiv Gandhi, LTTE’s fear of his coming back to power (and thus having elections and not recognizing Prabhakaran as the leader), the assassination preparation and the final occurrence are almost in sync with the reality of twenty years ago.

Reminiscent of movies like the acclaimed Roja, the to-be-forgotten Tango Charlie and other guerilla/civil war movies (or Blood Diamond, Pearl Harbour and Argo types for the Hollywood fanboys), Madras Café is a good walk down the memory lane for those who care about the most severe crisis the Indian sub-continent had faced from late-80s to mid-90s. Ethnic cleansing, similar to the one in Zimbabwe and a few other African countries, was alleged to be practiced in Sri Lanka to wipe out the LTTE. The leader Prabhakaran and his teenage son were shot dead a couple of years ago. The movie just stops short of this event but by now you have enough knowledge to debate on the economics/politics of civil war and the history of LTTE and the modus operandi of their suicides as well! And yeah, real AK-47s firing too.

In a storyline where you can’t experiment much with the facts (this is supposedly based on real incidents), the efforts need to be appreciated. But somewhere during the non-linear narration and flashback, the word ‘conspiracy’ seems to be overtold.  Once, twice, you feel curious but when it is again and again, you feel irritated especially when the suspense is as good as anyone’s guess. Yes, I know this is no Agatha Christie novel adaption but still – even Chocolate had a much better suspense. The movie could have been crafted in that manner, holding all facts tightly, such that the ‘conspiracy’ actually exists but alas, Sircar fails here. You can clearly see through what has happened and what is going to happen. I felt the efforts were totally wasted somewhere in the try to get a mirror image of the past. Some scenes are a total waste of our time, not providing any value to the story and done in a very sleepy way. The background score pumps up only in the latter half of the second half. Repeated nostalgia on why the ex-PM had to die whiffs of Congress glorification in the movie.

Nargis Fakhri’s beauty needs no introduction. Oh, acting did you say? No dude, her accent does all the acting here. As a Time war correspondent, she ‘helps’ John get the jigsaw puzzle correct. John is awesome in his role as the military-cum-RAW agent, something which I feel he is born for. But his narration avatar looks dumb. The discovery for me in this movie was not how was Rajiv Gandhi killed or where was the assassination plot cooked or that plastic explosives are not detected by metal detectors (how dumb is that!) or who was the real mastermind and beneficiary of the turmoil but was Rashi Khanna. A lovely Army housewife (lucky John), she totally charms you with her simplicity and innocence. Gorgeous in the movie, may be yes. Another Amrita Rao in the making, surely yes (for me atleast). And Prakash Belawadi as Madras RAW Desk’s Bala. Amazing acting. AMAZING.

Dumb dialogues: John enquiring about a plastic explosive which is miles away from where he is “Kya ye yahan se deactivate hoga?”😛😀

I am still wondering if Jayalalitha had bribed Bollywood to release two highly awaited movies in the same month with her capital’s name!!! Are elections due in Tamil Nadu😛

Watch it for Prakash Belawadi and if you can ‘invest’ your weekend seeing dead bodies, empathizing with a spy, civil war coverage, covert operations, had interest in LTTE and keen on getting teary-eyed.

Else, as I said, do the Lungi Dance dobaraa.

3/5 only for the efforts of trying to correctly reflect one of the most important incidents for India-SL relations and Prakash’s/John’s heroism. And as I said earlier, one man’s terrorist is another man’s revolutionary. So don’t judge anything based on this movie. Conspiracy by the LTTE or was it just a puppet? The truth might never be revealed.

The Wolverine: Review

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THE WOLVERINE: Review, Absolutely No Spoilers, Not even crucial characters or sub-plots revealed, so as safe as Dettol, to read, and as difficult as a mountain trek for me, to write, very difficult indeed!

The Wolverine

The Wolverine

First things first, the post-credits scene is THE awesomest Marvel has ever come up, IS AS IMPORTANT AND GOOD as the entire movie. So folks, no options, you have to watch this one, completely!!!

What do you do when the opportunity you have been waiting for since tens of decades is suddenly given to you? Do you grab it or you give your isolated life a second chance…

I was going to give this awesome-opportunity-screwed-up movie a little more than 2 and half or perhaps just 3 stars and surely not more, but then the post-credit scene comes, shakes me like a Japanese earthquake (the movie is based there) and bingo, the rating jumps to 4!!!

What do you do when the very power you considered a gift becomes a curse? What do you do when the person whom you loved more than your own life gives you nightmares? What do you do when your past haunts you like hell and spoils your present and is sure to ruin your future? What do you do when are done with doing? Do you hide your powers and become a recluse or you say “I am a soldier; I have hid long enough now”? What happens when the very person whom you saved spends all his life waiting to thank you and then backstabs you? You wait for that one moment which will give you resurrection. That is what Wolverine is all about.

Continuation from the 2006 X-Men: The Last Stand, this ‘mutant’ story takes us forward in the life and through the journey of Logan. The story is set mostly in Japan, begins and ends there itself. The Black Clan fights with arrows would make you feel there are tons of clones of Hawkeye and the ninjas would make you feel bullets are such a passé. The villains are the same in the comic book series, so mentioning them here would be playing spoilsport to the first timers.

At times there are roles and characters which seem to be created and exist just for that one person. Like Jack Sparrow for Johnny Depp. The role of Wolverine is just apt for Hugh Jackman. The ferocity of the beast, the restrain of a human, the grudge of a lover, the repentance of a sinner, the revenge of the injustice! This is one guy who can play one role and yet exhibit such diverse emotions and expressions, all in one character. And yes, his physique would put Zack Snyder to shame!

This is NOT your typical X-Men movie where you see a lot of mutants, where they test their powers against each other. Neither do you find humans against mutants, the essence of the actual X-Men concept. And for someone like me, who even remembers which mutants are of which class, this movie is a rude shock. As the title goes, the movie concentrates only and only on Wolverine. There is intense focus on his life, his relations, his relations’ relations (phew!) and his madness. While story telling is necessary everywhere, viewer engagement also needs to be considered! The antagonists may be many including a few amongst our own side here but thankfully, the script manages to separate the good from the bad. Slightly slow as it concentrates on building the story of our lone crusader and his struggle against life, it throws more light on how has changed and his goals now.

What is missing is the high octane action and the brilliant mutants vs humans/mutants fights which we all relished in the earlier editions. And the VFX. Nowhere would you feel that this is an X-Men movie or even that the lead character is a genetically differently abled creature. Couple of really brilliant scenes raises your adrenaline level real high but that’s it. You wait for it to continue or something equally good to happen later but alas.

But the basics of the X-Men fundas are really tested here: Does Logan love anyone other than Jean, does he take every promise seriously, about Wolverine’s regenerative power, can it ever be stopped, if at all its stopped by any means can it be restarted, how much admantium is actually there, can admantium really fight admantium? Does carbonadium really harm him? ARE X-MEN DEMI-GODS?

The brilliant brand equity of Wolverine and the terrific script has tons of potential and could have done much, much better.  More than a couple of scenes showed depth of emotions but its necessity there is surely questioned. What James Mangold had to remember was don’t play around with stuff, act on every direction he is taking the characters to and most importantly, action is crucial for every movie of this genre and even a fabulous story cannot compensate for lack of it. If expectations are set high by the previous versions, do justice to it or don’t do it at all.  But we need to consider that this movie shooting/production had a long list of setbacks too. And 3D being done in post-production seriously affects the quality of some scenes, especially if your 3D glasses are not squeaky-clean.

4 stars: Watch it only and only for Hugh Jackman, the ways he fantabulously metamorphoses from Logan to Wolverine and for the post-credits scene which will change the way you thought X-Men are, post the original trilogy. And will surely bring back the charm for which X-Men was always known for.

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