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Movie Review - Orange (Telugu) * Ram Charan, Genelia

Disclaimer – This post comes from an author whose knowledge of the language isn’t expert. Although I could understand most of what was going on-screen, I did find it a little difficult to catch up with some of the dialogues. So, my review is purely based on my approval and liking of the concept & narration, performances and other production values.
Also, since im gushing about the film, I might accidentally mention off some spoilers to make my point. Pleej excuse!!

‘LOVE’ possibly the most misused word. How do you define love? When do you realize you have fallen in love or out of it? Different insights, definitions, interpretations, but the most widely felt an emotion that can’t be explained. Those in love will preach the same to everyone, those who haven’t been through the feeling will shove it away as insanity. Cards, flowers, gifts, however cliché the ideas and ways of love are, they are still adopted with glee & Valentines is supposedly the highest selling day for retailers. What happens when someone challenges these notions, and attempts to break the shackles of cheesy displays of affection, Is it well accepted by the partner/by people around/loved ones? What does it take to keep love going between two individuals? All this and some more Facebook-age practical love fundas form Bhaskar’s ORANGE – An ‘O’ Range love story

Sydney based Ram (Ram Charan Tej), loves to live his life on his own terms. Be it his sister’s (Manjula) exasperation towards his smoking habits or the fact that his passion (‘naa praan’ as he likes to put it) is graffiti which is considered a crime; he isn’t willing to change his lifestyle or be pretentious for anything or anyone. One quick glance at Jaanu (Genelia), he falls head over heels over her exuberance & innocence. Over the next couple of reels, Ram chases Jaanu over gorgeous Australian backdrops, and soon Jaanu reciprocates his feelings. Almost immediately there is a clash of beliefs. Ram loves Jaanu, he knows that and he isn’t afraid to show it. What he disapproves off is stamping any relationship with an expiry date. He lives by the moment and prefers taking it one-step-at-a-time. (There is a very well put flashback incident in place to rationalize his behaviour) Jaanu completely opposes this philosophy & refuses to believe that relationships aren’t for keeps. The rest of the movie is how Ram and Jaanu advocate their perspectives to each other.

I’ll start off with the easiest that is the performances. Anyone reading this review and is close to RCT, please do give him a huge hug from me. As Ram, Charan is marvelous in every frame. Be it as the adventure-obsessed artist, or as the simpleton preaching honesty in relationships, or as the ‘world’s greatest lover’, he is quirky, charming and a viewers delight. He puts in loads of confidence and conviction to his act, almost as if he is living the character. On the minus, he should work a bit on his facial expressions (loosen up a bit) and his dialogue delivery could be stronger. Genelia as Jaanu works terrifically for me. Her hyperactively cute persona does initially come across as Bommarillu take-2 but post her transformation when she begins self introspection; she embraces the camera extremely well & maintains a stand of her own. (Though she does look tired, I’ll just blame it on the stress her character is going through). Shazahn Padamsee in her small but pivotal role looks gorgeous but can’t be applauded for putting in a credible act. Maybe it’s her unfamiliarity with the language (I haven’t seen Rocket Singh), but she looks uncomfortable.

The film is further smartly propped by other interesting acts by PrakashRaj, Prabhu, Manjula, Brahmanandam, Vennela Kishore who lend credible support to the proceedings.

ORANGE’ keeps you engaged right from the start. As an audience, you are well introduced and kept in loop with the characters, their surroundings (key ingredient), their stories, their changing patterns, which helps connect and cherish the movie as a whole. Bhaskar does a fantastic job in crystal clear sketching of characters and story. He knows what he wants, how he wants and even though he is aware of the delicate topic of emotions of love that he is dealing with, he isn’t shy to expose its madness to the audience. His understanding of situations and human behavior that he puts across is spot on. His USP lies in his directness of demonstrating the philosophy that - Making your loved one do something they are hesitant about but goes on to make them happy is the correct thing to do, but making them do something which brings them pain, is unfair. Highlight of the film is that every action is followed by an equally logical and impactful reaction. Case in point – Scene 1: Genelia’s excitement after the lion episode. Scene 2: RCT pointing out Genelia’s sulked face because of their arguments. These are the simple scenes/dialogues which Bhaskar used effectively to show that Love or acts of Love are supposed to bring happiness, not misery in someone’s life. This goes on to show the brilliance, attention to detail and persistence of the director. Total Win!

There is a saying (song?) in a bollywood movie that goes ‘Koi tum ko badal ke pyar kare, toh woh pyar nahin woh sauda kare, aur sahiba pyar mein sauda nahin hota’ (lost in translation: If someone loves you by changing you, it isn’t love, it’s a trade. And love isn’t a business (trade)). Every relationship has a thin line between compromise and sacrifice. Compromises in any relationship are given, sacrifices suffocate the bond in due time. Through Orange, Bhaskar skillfully asserts just that.

Including direction, all other aspects and technical attributes scored well. Visually stunning cinematography convinced me to add Australia to my must-visit places list. Rooba Rooba still refuses to leave my mind, and that it features mera shehar Mumbai makes it extra special. My introduction to Harris’s music was with Ayan which plays regularly on my player and Im delighted that he has one more album I can easily tag as my favourite.

Overall, except for the rushed climax, (which is trivial compared to the wins) there isn’t any aspect of the movie that disappointed. It’s been five hours since I walked out of the theatre, yet the scenes, sequences, laughter, and crowd’s reactions are still fresh in my mind. That says a lot about this movie and it undoubtedly makes it to my ‘recommended’ category. Now can’t wait to get my hands on the DVD! 

Movie Review - The Social Network - 'Dumped'dog billionaire?!?

I was all gaga about this movie from the time the promos first hit Indian shores. I hadn’t heard much about it before, which was quite strange, as I’d expect it to make some noise. Given that im quite a ‘social networking’ person and spend considerable hours on these sites, I deemed myself the perfect audience for the film. A few of my friends were skeptical though, they figured it was just another movie about a bunch of kids trying to get entrepreneurial and makers cashing in on the brand of the most (mis)used networking site on the internet. A friend asked me if he should watch the movie despite not being a Facebook fan or an addict user. I’ll come to that in a bit.

Movie Review - Action Replay * Aishwarya, Akshay Kumar ' All noise, no action, trying to find the fastforward button'

All of us at some point of time have wished we could go back in time and change a thing or two about our life. Well, mercy be, Action Replayy takes the liberty of fantasizing just that. Having seen some very fine films of this director and especially considering that most involved his amazing chemistry with his lead-in-many-films Akshay, it didn’t take a lot for this film to get a average opening (despite not having to many pre-release marketing/promotions). Although I was hugely wary about viewing this one as I didn’t find any aspect of it remotely appealing, I went for it nonetheless expecting at least a decent watchable fare.

First up – let’s try to connect the dots of the scattered beads like plot – In one line – an adolescent son (in 2010) travels back 40 odd years, to his parent’s youth (read 70’s), to correct his parents past, so as to set things right in the present (2010). Did I lose you already?! Read further.
Bunty (Aditya Kapoor) flees at the idea of marriage with girlfriend Tania, blaming it on his experience of the failing marriage of his parents Kishan (Akshay) & Mala (Aishwarya). Unable to take his parents sparring at their 35th anniversary (YUPP! why they are still together is beyond anyone’s comprehension), Bunty decides to travel back in time to the beginning of the Kishen-Mala ki LOVE ishtory and make an attempt to rewrite it. (Brain boggles!!) His timing of thought couldn’t have been more perfect as Tanya's grandfather; Professor Gonsalves (Randhir Kapoor) has invented a time machine (gaudier than LS2050) to transport Bunty into the past. Zoom, boom, kaboom, Bunty is now in the 70’s playing Love guru to help PAA patao MAA (trauma! trauma!!!!)

Everything about Action Replayy spews failure. Firstly the concept of time travel which as it is, is not accepted elatedly requires strong background, story or rationale for the audience to be able to connect to it. ALL of it is lacking in this one. Moreover, the basic premise of the movie as mentioned in one line earlier is impossible to register, relate with. The humor track tries very hard at being haha but except from evoking a couple of smiles (mostly sarcasm or frustration) it comes across as amateurish and superfluous. Ironically, leads on whom the project was spotlighted and promoted have very little to do, besides wheezing through song dances in polkas, bell bottoms and caricatured hairdo’s on hills, carnivals & under shiny disco balls in front of CST (?!?!)

In all, Vipul Shah’s Action Replayy is completely deprived of comprehensible screenplay (let me not even go into intelligence), humour, authenticity to the setup or any other ingredients required to make a film. The loud colours, fancy (bordering on garish) getups do nothing to lift the characters or their acts. The recent flicks OATM and OSO did a greater job at depicting the gone-by eras with far more subtleness and restraint. Here they all look pretty, happy, slightly visually appealing in patches, but sadly abandoned by everyone from the dialogue to the art to the music department.

At the end of it, I wished I want to borrow that time machine, take the film’s tagline ‘REWIND YOUR LIFE’ very seriously and go back in time – just a couple of hrs!
Phukat ka advice: AVOID at all costs. Go next door for Golmaal 3 instead. Atleast it guarantees few laughs of its own.

Movie Review - Golmaal 3 * Ajay Devgn, Kareena, Arshad Warsi, Tusshar, Shreyas Talpade, Kunal Khemu

Golmaal is clearly a brand of sorts and after the curtains close on the third leg of the triology, there’s no guarantee that this is probably the last and you wont be seeing any more of it! Naturally after two successes, the third one carries the weight of expectations especially since it’s the festive season and people would want their time and money’s worth at this now more than ever.

Geeta aka Guddi (Ratna Pathak) & Pritam (Mithun Chakraborty) wish to rekindle their old relationship and are persuaded to enter into marital bliss by Ajay’s girlfriend Daboo (Kareena). This brings the two families under one roof i.e. Geeta’s children Gopal (Ajay), Laxman (Shreyas) & Pritam’s trio – Madhav (Arshad), Lucky (Tusshar) & Laxman (Kunal Khemu). The problem is the two groups detest each other (why? I don’t know – didn’t bother either) and are set to make life living hell for the other! Then there is a case of missing necklace being hunted by short-term-memory-loss goon Puppy (Johnny Lever) his sidekicks Vrajesh Hirjee, Sanjay Mishra. 

And thus begins the third-go-round, of mass-entertainment laughathons where comedy is the only serious business and all logic and rationale (that never was) is not bothered with.

Whats Good: Where the first two editions had 4-5 main characters enough to fill a frame, this one goes notches higher by using 8 lead characters, yet intelligently etching them out to give everyone equal due. Director Rohit Shetty gets full points here, in not letting any actor be a mere prop and giving each of them signifcant showreels. The performance of all actors are subdued, perfect but special mentions to Kareena Kapoor who commands her place among the band of boys, Kunal Khemu, the newbie to the franchise, who fits in comfortably and Sanjay Mishra, who grabs spotlights despite being a peripheral player.

Whats Bad: A scriptless movie works, if the treatment is novel. G3 does nothing new and you will be face-to-face with a lot of recall moments from G1 & G2. So you have it all, flashy colurful carnival-ish lead entries, cars collisions, witless gangsters, inspectors, side-kicks, finale with a comical get-together and even the set looks familiar if I may add so. Small bits of editing could have helped, also the stunts get a little repititive and arent fun anymore.

Where the movie is lost in narration, it gains agreeably with its bucket of jibes, gags and spoofs. (There are times you laugh at the most cliched ones just for the way they are played on screen)

On the whole, Golmaal 3 has its share of hits and misses. Despite its plot being vaguely different from its predecessors, G3 starts & ends on similar styles that Rohit Shetty is accustomed to and sticks to it earnestly. Compared to the previous films, this does have an extra dose of indistinct abuses and suggestive sequences which may not sit well with families. Nonetheless, Golmaal as promised is a light package of merriment & humour that blends in with the mood of the festivities. Sharp dialogues, strong ensemble and patches of fun make Golmaal a decent watch for the holidays.


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