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Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga movie review: Sonam Kapoor – Rajkummar Rao’s film is an unconventional love story set in a quintessential Bollywood backdrop

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga movie review: Sonam K Ahuja, Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla are impressive, but it is Rajkummar Rao who steals the show

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2019 has begun with experimental cinema and I being a cinema-lover love it. Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is a film that shows how much taboo homosexuality still is for a traditional Indian family and their mindset towards it. It is a brave concept picked up by director Shelly Chopra Dhar for her debut film, but misses on some aspects.

What’s it about? Written by Gazal Dhaliwal and Shelly Chopra Dhar, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga deals with the concept of LGBT, where the lead character of the film is a lesbian and is still in the closet. It takes a friend (Rajkummar Rao) to make her realise that she is normal and she no more needs to be chained. Then how her family reacts? Whether they accept her or not is the story of the film. The film starts with a wedding where everyone is desperate to get Sweety (Sonam) married. The mandap seems to be like a matrimony site in real where everyone is literally window-shopping for guys and girls – to an extent where a supporting actor even says,“Shadiyon mein hi to dulhe milte hai.”

But Sonam is not ready to get married and there is a secret about her that only she and her brother know. And the brother is clearly not happy about it. He follows her everywhere just to keep an eye on her. Meanwhile she meets a young struggling playwriter Sahil (Rajkummar), who instantly falls in love with her and starts looking at her as his inspiration. After a misunderstanding, Rajkummar gets into the family and just before the interval Sweety reveals to him that she is a lesbian and her girlfriend stays in London. Heartbroken Sahil pledges to help Sweety and makes her realise that having different sexual orientation is normal. How he plots a plan to make Sweety’s family accept her, well that is the second half.

Yay: Shelly proves that she is Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s sister with her writing. Like her brother, she builds up a world where every character has a storyline and definition. Not just the leads, but even the supporting cast – Seema Pahwa as the maid who bids on everything possible, even on who will marry Sweety. They have a space to breath in the screenplay. One more thing she gets right is showing the different mindsets. In a scene Sweety’s brother played by Abhishek Duhan denotes homosexuality as a disease. He tells Sweety,“Ki teri bimari tu thik kyun nahin kar sakti.” Sweety’s grandmother when narrated a lesbian screenplay of a play says that it is a great comedy and people will enjoy laughing.

As writers, both Gazal and Shelly get plus points. If you have seen the Hollywood film Call Me By Your Name, wherein by the end the father admits in front of his son that he also had dreams and secrets that he had to bury for the sake of society and family. Here Anil is given a similar trail, he loves cooking and had a goal of becoming a chef, but his mother doesn’t allow him as cooking is not something boys are supposed to do. Acting-wise the performances are quite good. Sonam plays the mysterious part and one who is scared of her own identity impressively. Anil has a style of his own and it is visible here whether you like it or not. Juhi Chawla after a long time is the cutest character here. Regina Cassandra as the love-interest of Sonam doesn’t get much to do but is good. Rajkummar is well Rajkummar, and he steals the show.

Nay: Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is set right and the tonality is perfect, but what misses is the depth of the main character, Sonam falls a bit short in portraying the emotion right. The execution should have been a bit bolder.There is a flashback of how Sonam and Regina fall in love, but that isn’t enough. I expected them to show more, let the story grow on the audience. It’s Punjab, use the farms and the landscapes. But then I will have to go with what director’s vision is. While touching all other issues the main one gets a bit blurry.

Cine Blitz Verdict: All in all, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is a good step in terms of normalising LGBT in mainstream cinema. Watch it for how an unconventional story can be set in a mainstream Bollywood story. Though I wanted to see a few more things, but I won’t complain because Rajkummar Rao compensated for them.

Rating: 2.5 stars

Movie Reviews

Total Dhamaal review: Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor make it worth the paisa!

Total Dhamaal review: Is Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor’s comic caper worth your money? Find out here…

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Total Dhamaal review Ajay Devgn - Madhuri Dixit - Anil Kapoor steal the show

Total Dhamaal brings both – good news and bad news for the fans of the Dhamaal franchise. The bad news is that if you were expecting the third installment in the Dhamaal franchise to be as good as the first, then let us be very clear, it is not. However, the good news is that Total Dhamaal inspite of its shortcomings is way better than Double Dhamaal. With the cast that director Indra Kumar had put together, one had expected it to be a complete laugh riot, but it is not. Most of the actors in this ensemble cast are known for their comic timing. Yet – Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Mishra, Johnny Lever, Riteish Deshmukh, Boman Irani, Arshad Warsi, Jaaved Jafferi – together fail to lift the movie.

To call Total Dhamaal a must-watch comedy or a total paisa vasool is wrong! It is paisa vasool, but not total paisa vasool, if you get what we are trying to say. The director seems to have sat with a checklist with all funny things. Instead of concentrating on the quality, he has worked more on making sure that the funny things find a way into the film. So from toilet humour to WhatsApp forwards and from domestic humour to silly characters, every ingredient has been added to this comical serving. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a character representing all communities. From a Gujarati to Maharashtrian, a Bengali, to a North Indian, Total Dhamaal has very diverse characters! And let’s not forget there are the animals too.

What is Total Dhamaal about? Ajay Devgn and Sanjay Mishra steal Rs 50 crore from a corrupt police commissioner, played by Boman Irani. They are however double-crossed by Manoj Pahwa, who hides the money in a Janakpur Zoo. Manoj meets with an accident, but before dying he reveals the location to four pairs – including Ajay and Sanjay. The four pairs are complete strangers, but their greed for money sets them on a crazy treasure hunt. The film establishes early on who these four pairs are. There’s Ajay-Sanjay, then there’s Madhuri and Anil, a couple on the brink of divorce. Riteish and Pitobash are corrupt firefighters, while Jaaved and Arshad are on the lookout for a job. The crazy adventure that they set out on is what the film is all about.

Yay: Madhuri and Anil’s chemistry gets our thumbs up. Madhuri lights up the frame each time she appears on screen. Her comic timing is still as perfect as always. She breathes life into the most dull dialogues and salvages Total Dhamaal from being a complete wash-out. Anil ably supports her in this. Jackie Shroff’s ‘Chindi’ voice-over also brings about a few laughs. Ajay sticks to his swagger more than comedy and the director smartly makes it work for his character. Johnny Lever is his usual comical self, though this is not his best. Jaaved and Arshad are the ones who are consistently funny.

Nay: Total Dhamaal falters on several levels. A major drawback is the background score and the additional comical sounds added for effect. It’s a pity that the audience’s intelligence is so under-rated that they will need a sound to make them laugh. But then perhaps the makers were trying to fill in for the lack of punch in the dialogues. The last 20 minutes are when you actually realise that the film does have a dialogue-writer. But that’s a sputtering few lines! The dialogues do not do justice to any of the actors and they clearly don’t get to show their comic side to their full potential.

CineBlitz verdict: This one is a clean comedy that kids are likely to enjoy, thanks to the animals and Jaaved Jaaferi. Madhuri and Anil fans won’t be disappointed. The film tilts a bit towards entertaining than the borderline entertaining mark. So, if you are a Dhamaal fan and don’t mind their brand of humour, then Total Dhamaal might not be a totally bad idea.

Star rating: 2 stars

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Movie Reviews

Total Dhamaal review: Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit-Nene’s comic caper is hilarious, reveal movie-goers

Total Dhamaal review: Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor make the audience fall in love with the movie

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Total Dhamaal public review: Fans love Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor's comic caper

Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Arshad Warsi, Riteish Deshmukh’s Total Dhamaal has finally hit the screens. And looks like it has started off with a bang! Not only is the occupancy in the morning shows good, the response it is receiving from the movie-goers is also fantastic. People are loving the third installment of the hit comic franchise. Social media is full of praises for the movie and its cast. In fact, the audience cannot stop gushing about Total Dhamaal, especially Madhuri Dixit-Nene. All the fans have been raving about the actress, her beauty and her on screen presence.

Movie-goers are even happy to see Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit-Nene on the big screen after so many years. Ajay Devgn’s swag is being loved, while Riteish Deshmukh is being praised for his comic timing. The movie is very hilarious, according to the fans. In fact, one movie-goer even mentioned how everyone in her cinema hall was laughing hard throughout the first half. Total Dhamaal is truly a family entertainer, a laugh riot and mind-blowing, reveal people who saw the first day first show of the movie. Check out what everyone had to say about the Indra Kumar directorial right here!

Our reviewer – Aakanksha Naval-Shetye has also mentioned how Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit-Nene are a delight in the movie. Clearly, this family entertainer is impressing one and all. With the film taking a wonderful start and getting such positive reviews, we are sure it will do well. In fact, Akshaye Rathi (exhibitor and distributor) predicts that Total Dhamaal will earn Rs 14 crore on day 1 at the domestic box office. In the meantime, share with us your review of the movie in the comments section below! Also stay tuned to CineBlitz as we get you all the news and updates about Total Dhamaal right here.

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Movie Reviews

Total Dhamaal review: Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor steal the show in the first half

Total Dhamaal review: Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor, Arshad Warsi, Jaaved Jaaferi are the highlights till the interval

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Total Dhamaal review Ajay Devgn - Madhuri Dixit - Anil Kapoor steal the show

After Dhamaal and Double Dhamaal, Indra Kumar is back with the third installment of the hit comic franchise. Total Dhamaal stars Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixir-Nene, Arshad Warsi, Sanjay Mishra, Riteish Deshmukh, Jaaved Jafferi, amongst others. The film has just released. But what does our reviewer, Aakanksha Naval-Shetye, has to say about the movie? The first half of Total Dhamaal is just over, and she reveals to us, “The film kick-starts with the peppy track Paisa Yeh Paisa and the first few scenes set the pace of the film. Ajay Devgn and Sanjay Mishra steal Rs 50 core from the corrupt police commissioner played by Boman Irani. They escape unscathed by jumping down a 16- storey hotel building. After testing if you can digest this, the director decides to test you further.”

Aakanksha further adds, “Talking about performances, Ajay and Sanjay are clearly the ones doing action comedy. Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit indulge us with WhatsApp jokes revolving around domestic warring husband and wife. Arshad Warsi and Jaaved Jaaferi are genuinely funny and they draw some laughs in Total Dhamaal. Ajay’s swag works, but Sanjay struggles to keep the comic pace going. An ill timed Mungda doesn’t help things either. Madhuri, however infuses her natural comic timing and is a saving grace so far. But, Riteish Deshmukh and Pitobash are a let down.”

“The four pairs cross path in trying to reach a bag with Rs 50 crores in it. Chased by Boman, the race to the Janakpur Zoo, where the money has been hidden begins. What follows is an assault on your senses! To say the Total Dhamaal is loud is an understatement. But you would expect more comed, right? However, the film evokes laughter only in inconsistent parts.  The actors struggle to salvage the not so funny dialogues relying more on their own performances. The jarring background music and forced comic sounds worsen matters,” adds our reviewer.

Summing up the first half, Aakanksha mentions, “So far the laughs have come too far and few to live up to the brand. And have been predictable. Johnny lever as a helicopter pilot manages to add to the comedy. None of the animals have made an entry yet so hoping that will put the film in an upswing.” Stay tuned to CineBlitz for the full Total Dhamaal review.

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