Kalpit Tandon

Movie Buff. Also writes about movies on his blog.

[Hollywood] Top 15 Movies of 2013

15. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

A visceral political gut punch and an improvement over the first installment, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire portrays the cast and crew in total control of the content while being faithful to the novel. [..]

[Movie Review] Himmatwala: Even MaaSherawaali’s Tiger Can’t Save the Day!

Cast: Ajay Devgan, Tamanna, Paresh Rawal, Mahesh Manjrekar, Zarina Wahab Director: Sajid Khan Genre: Comedy, Drama Rating: 1/5

There lies a word in dictionary, ‘Dreadful’. The word is usually referred for something that is the cause of suffering and sorrow. Sajid Khan’s Himmatwala can be easily quoted in the dictionary beside that word, as an example, for better comprehension to the readers. Or eventually, not many people will catch it, so it cannot even attain that feat. Sad for Sajid Khan!

When a movie starts with Sonakshi Sinha moon-walking on an appalling dance number, one ought to expect what lies in the hold of the remaining two and a half hours. The smarter ones will simply leave the theaters while the others will sit back so as to see the heights of clumsiness that can be achieved by the remake, oops, parody of 80’s Himmatwala. [..]

[Movie Review] Aatma: This Daddy is Pure Evil!

Cast: BipashaBasu, NawazuddinSiddiqui, Shernaz Patel Director: SuparnVerma Genre: Horror, Thriller Rating: 2/5

Another wooden chair rollicks, another worn-out creepy woman gives abysmal warnings that are meant to be disregarded and yet another time, a spirit enters another body and we find some lateral shifting in eyeballs accompanied with some grumpiness in voice. So, again, riding high on banalities arrive another horror movie, Aatma. Cartoonish, eh?

A sensitive girl Nia (DoyelDhawan); a loving mother Maya (BipashaBasu) and a malicious father, Abhay (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), who is all set to expurgate the throat of his spouse if only he gets an occasion to do so, live together in a flat. But there lies a timid twist in this story; father and the daughter are all in chubby-chubby love with one another. So much the love is that even death of the daddy can’t separate the duo. So he decides to chip back in this mortal world, only to take away the daughter once and for all! [..]

[Movie Review] Django Unchained: Good old Spaghetti Western!

Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo Dicaprio Director: Quentin Tarantino Genre: Western, Drama Rating: 4/5 Movie Reviewed at: PVR Cinemas, Udaipur UT Movies

You muse endlessly to have a faith in this world, where ‘being bad’ is the only route to rise against the evil. You come close to it and sniff the staple nature of violence and vengeance. This is one big bad world, a world of suppression and blood, in which you are either a demigod or a fiendish devil. You settle down to the tone of it, to the saccharine goriness of the miniscule idiosyncrasies spilled across the barren landscape and then you gape open mouthed as the shock-waves of awe run all over you after witnessing this fiery masterwork of Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained.

The undercurrent themes of Blaxploitation, dominance of whites and slavery lies heavily besides the baritones of wit and wry humor that Django Unchained offers. The result is an immensely satisfying outing from the veteran director who just doesn’t know how to miss the bull’s eye. [..]

[Movie Review] Oz the Great and Powerful: Enough of Desserts, where is the Main Course?

Cast: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz 

Director: Sam Raimi 

Genre: Fantasy and Fiction 

Runtime: 2 hours and 7 minutes

Rating: 2.5/5 

Movie Reviewed at: PVR, Udaipur.

Look, we have three hot-shot sorceresses, a con man illusionist from a carnival, a winged monkey, some dwarves and an utterly adorable china doll. Please, also allow this crew to chip in some jaw dropping CGI and a world so surreal that it carries the stamp of stuff dreams are essentially made of.

Err, is something missing? Wait, I get it; a sense of storytelling.

It takes a considerable time to shake the aura of the visual splendor and the smoldering appeal that Oz the Great and Powerful casts around you. But, once you see past this curtain, you realize the potholes lying in the pavements of this kingdom. It is not that the potholes are frequent; it is just that, you expect more from such a wildly famous fable. [..]

[Movie Review] I, Me Aur Main: Who’s the Best? Definitely not this film!

Cast: John Abraham, Prachi Desai, Chitrangda Singh Director: Kapil Sharma Genre: Drama, Romance Rating: 2/5 Movie Reviewed At: PVR Cinemas, Udaipur

Two successive Fridays and we have back to back coming-of-age tales. While Kai Po Che was a magnificent example of finesse cine-making, I, Me aur Main was an apt illustration of how degenerate such a subject can go when it is not handled with utmost care.

“I love me too”, that is how the doors of Ishaan’s (John Abraham) world open for us, a world where even the air smells full of him. Upon entering, we are introduced to Anushka (Chitrangda Singh), who apart from being efficacious and independent, is madly smitten, for no specific reasons, with our self-infatuated music executive. [..]

[Movie Review] A Good Day to Die Hard: Even Worse than the Chernobyl Disaster

Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch Director: John Moore Genre: Action, Thriller Rating: 1.5/5 Movie Reviewed at: PVR Cinemas, Udaipur UT Movies

Wait! You must be kidding me. This saggy faced, self-deprecatory lunatic can’t be the John McClane we used to love. No, you just can’t ruin a character to this level of absurdity. Really, Bruce Willis, you signed this vile junk of a movie? And trust me, throwing the Spartacus famed, Jai Courtney, won’t help either, for A Good Day to Die Hard was a pile of rubbish that reached its tipping point by the end of first hour and then collapsed stupidly in the climax.

Visibly old John McClane (Bruce Willis) goes ‘on a holiday’ to Russia to bring his dolt son, Jack McClane (Jai Courtney) back in line. What he realizes is that Jack is not a fool anymore but an undercover CIA agent (well, that doesn’t stop him from making his horrendously awful grins) working against people who are trying to set up a nuclear bomb. So, the duo teams up to beat the goons in every way possible while Bruce Willis, in between those rains of bullets, repeatedly says that he is on a holiday. Phew! [..]

[Movie Review] Kai Po Che: Sensitive, Soulful and Brilliant

Cast: Amit Sadh, Sushant Singh Rajput, Raj Kumar Yadav, Amrita Puri Director: Abhishek Kapoor Genre: Drama Rating: 4/5 Movie Reviewed at: PVR Cinemas, Udaipur

UT Movies

Once in a blue moon a movie is made that touches you deep down and is poignant enough to pull your heartstrings; a movie that will stay with you long after the credits roll down. Kai Po Che is one such affair that stirs around your heart and spawns a moving portrayal of relations and ambitions against the backdrop of Gujarat riots that happened back in 2002.

Based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel, “The Three Mistakes of My Life”, Kai Po Che is a quintessential tale about friendship, dreams and getting back on your feet after being broken down into pieces. It follows the bend of three protagonists, Omi (Amit Sadh), Ishaan (Sushant Singh Rajput) and Govind (Raj Kumar Yadav) whose lives were altered by the happenings that were out of their control and were governed by a single king, fate!

There comes a scene in the post-interval period in which two characters run through the streets of Ahmedabad and upon forgiving, they embrace each other as the camera revolves around them. Right in that fleeting instance, with breathtaking music playing in the background, you realize the achievement of Abhishek Kapoor, the director of Kai Po Che, in etching out characters that are realistic and authentic to the hilt. [..]