Dum Maaro Dum

Dum maaro Dum the reteaming of Abhishek Bachhan and Rohan sippy after the hit Bluffmaster understandably had the people excited. AB baby ( here onwards referred to as ABb) did a bit of rap back then and does a little of it here too was novel then is annoying now. But look on the bright side ( very few ) he’s looking leaner either he has a new fitness regimen that I need to get on or he is wearing one of those annoying “I lost 4 dress sizes contraptions that are on sale every morning.

DMD is the story of the previously corrupt but now gone straight cop Vishnu Kamat (ABb), he is called in to clean-up Goa and its rave and drug culture. Director Rohan sippy goes through the motions and introduces the various characters in the most haphazard way possible. Perhaps the editor was on the same shit that was easily lowing around on the sets, there is no sense of pacing either the movie takes too long to introduce and setup one particular angle or it goes about disregarding the facts in order to save precious reels ( like in 2 days after you get an invite for a US college you are on your way – nothing to do with I20s or Visas or such. )

Let me get to the goods first as there are so few . ABb is solid in his angry young amitabh oops man role. He does cut a good figure as a fearless cop always on the edge of exploding. Here too he is solid and there aren’t too many complaints with him in either the acting or the styling department ( Dhoom2 and Dosatana anyone?) . Bipasha basu is strikingly beautiful! This is probably the first time I found her remotely attractive. She doesn’t have a very big role but her acting is not half bad. Rana Duggabatti will also appear on the not-so-good list a little ahead but he makes an impressive bollywood debut. He is easy on the eyes in a kunal kapoor scruffy kinda way and has immense screen presence.

Now the bad stuff, I was just thinking to myself the other day now every movie in Hollywood is either being shot in 3D Imax or is atleast post converted to 3D . There are talks of shooting in 64fps (frames per second ) and Peter Jackson is already shooting The Hobbit in 48fps( all movies are shot on 24fps-frames per second). Hollywood dallied with the hand held method of shooting with the Bourne movies and the result was initially good but ultimately nauseating. This was a few years ago and we are now being introduced to the hand held cinematography and it is immediately bile-inducing. Half the movie is shot in the dark and nothing can be seen.

The Acting – Pratiek Babbar is supremely annoying with that voice of his. Aditya pancholi does the hunchback of notredam meets gabbar act in the cheesiest possible way. And Rana Daggubatti who while is very powerful visually on the screen needs to get a diction and vocal coach ASAP because the way he delivers dialogues it feels like I am watching a kannada movie dubbed in hindi. It lacks any and all emotions.

The story and direction is all style and no substance and the style too seems all too borrowed to me. The scene where all the drug lords are gathered (all races represented) feels very similar to our introduction to the joker and his disappearing pen trick from The Dark Knight. Joki mobilizing the forces on bikes to be his eyes and ears and how that cuts to a larger screen with multiple Picture-in-Picture also resembles the scene between batman and Fox. And the finale is reminiscent of Marty’s The Departed.

And I have been meaning to vent this for a long time now. Who the hell wrote the lyrics to the reimagined “dum maro dum”song. “uche se ucha banda potty pe baithe nanga… fir kahe ki society..” Tagore must be proud. Deepika fizzles more than sizzles and I would much rather watch a back-to-back-to-back of munni and shila than “kheecho her skirt”. There should be a law against butchering old classics especially Zeenat Aman ones, first DMD and now Laila!

This article is a reproduction from my facebook account.

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Kai Po Che – A Review

ImageCricket, politics, religion and passion collide in Abhishek Kapoor’s Kai Po Che based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel three mistakes of my life. The movie stars Sushant Raj Singh, Amit Sadh and Raj Kumar Yadav as the three friends and their travails through life.

Right off the bat the movie sets the tone right with the understated opening sequence with wide spanning vistas and I was floored by the visual artistry on display. All through the movie there are scenes of such beauty that will take your breath away. The music while limited in terms of the number of songs for a Hindi movie are perfect accompaniment to the rustic Ahmedabad and kick up a notch when garba comes calling.

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Of the acting all three actors are brilliant and the very embodiment of bromance that it is impossible to tell them apart. Sushant Singh Rajput’s dreamer cricketer Ishaan is the perfect foil to Raj Kumar Yadav’s business acumen displaying but clueless about love Govind. The standout for me though is Amit Sadh’s Omi who goes from being the charlatan and joker of the group to becoming the politician on the rise and the reluctant fundamentalist. The final scene and the quite breakdown in front of Vidya is understated but equivalent of an eruption of an emotional volcano. Another standout and the real heart of the movie is the young Digvijay Deshmukh who plays the gifted child cricket protégé Ali the common thread that brings the entire movie together. Amrita Puri as Vidya, Ishaan’s sister also does full justice to her role. For me personally a sign of a good movie is when the supporting cast is as strong as the lead actors, with Kai Po Che there is a plethora of memorable supporting actors essaying roles that provide more than just a plot point to move the story along but rather help weave the complete fabric of the story, be it the politician mamaji, the priest father, the Muslim leader and father of Ali, all come together to make Kai Po Che a storytelling success.

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Having gone in unfamiliar with Bhagat’s source material I was sufficiently full of dread as I hated Three Idiots and in general stay as far away from Chetan Bhagat as possible because of his novels.  But Abhishek Kapoor does a brilliant job translating the story to the screen and still managing to keep it relevant, realistic and uplifting. For those who are not familiar with the novel Three Mistakes of My Life I will not go into too many details but sufficient to say that it recreates some of the most memorable moments of the first decade of the new millennium in Gujarat and while doing so does not take a side and only makes a dispassionate commentary on the events that shape the lives of these 3 friends, events that would have no doubt affected many other young men who lived through that period.

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There is vibrancy to this movie and naturalness to the performances that make everything absolutely believable, something that I found lacking in both Three Idiots (Bhagat’s first novel to be adapted for the big screen) and Rock On (Kapoor’s previous movie). By taking on relative new comers to the essay the roles of Ish Omi and Govi Abhishek Kapoor is able to get the best possible performances out of them.

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To me this movie this early on in the year is hopefully a sign of things to come – I herald it as the next step in the evolution of the Indian film industry in its 100th year.  Go see the movie because this is probably one of the best movies this year and Abhishek Kapoor is a director who has got my attention