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Zero movie review: Shah Rukh Khan – Aanand L Rai’s film plot is all over the place

Here’s our movie review of Zero starring Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif…

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Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) opens Zero with all his charm. OMG! Is he really back after being through Jab Harry Met Sejal, NOOOOO. Zero is impressive till the interval, but later, feels like the whole entourage lost all interest in making this excuse called a film. Can’t even call it a plot because it’s lost in the first place. Bauua (SRK) is a dwarf but has pots and pots of money, to the extent that he spends Rupees six lakhs in arranging holi celebrations to impress a wheel chair-bound Anushka Sharma, who goes by a nationally integrated name. Not that she suffers due to her condition. She is a scientist and the one who found water on Mars. Yes, Mars! If that sounds strange, Katrina, out of all the men around, kisses a dwarf to teach men a lesson. And she is named Babita Kumari (who wears couture). Also Bauua can make stars fall, the real ones fall. DIGEST THIS!

The film starts with Aanand L.Rai’s standard signature. Loud masala, great punch-lines and a good supporting cast, but in the second half, everything is forgotten, primarily logic. Bauua’s family is introduced nicely and completely sidelined later. The screenplay is so loosely written that you can’t figure out where those 160 minutes are heading to. Even if SRK wasn’t a dwarf, the film would have been the same because that is not at all the point they have focused on.

To add some comedy, the script takes a dig at many people: the Khans, the Kapoors, the  Salman-Katrina controversy and many more. There are darjan ke bhav mein cameos, can’t list them all here, but it even includes Mallika Dua. If you are planning to go for Zero, watch Tanu Weds Manu again instead, because that is Aanand L Rai, not this.

PS: If you have survived this far, Anushka’s name in the film is Afia Yusufzai Bhinder.

PPS: Also, R Madhavan is Anand’s lucky champ, he is one of those infinite cameos.

Movie Reviews

Fraud Saiyaan movie review: Arshad Warsi – Saurabh Shukla will cheat you with a lacklustre film

Here’s our movie review of Fraud Saiyaan featuring Arshad Warsi and Saurabh Shukla!

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Well, to begin with, you are obviously not planning to watch Fraud Saiyaan for its actors – Arshad Warsi, Saurabh Shukla or Sara Loren. And with neither the music nor the marketing having gained any roots in our mind, it’s unlikely that you would be drawn to the theatres at all. In fact, most of us would have attempted to watch this film strictly because it’s from the stable of Prakash Jha, a filmmaker whose cinema carries a certain brand of respect and value. Well, that’s where the audience is cheated. The film couldn’t have had a better title and after watching it you would want to come up with a similar title for the filmmakers as well.

What’s it about? Arshad Warsi a.k.a Bhola is a scamster who marries women for their money and makes a living juggling his multiple wives aided with a single ring that he manages to gift and then take back from each of them. When not being pampered by his multiple and obviously not-very-high-on-intellect- wives, he’s shown trying to avoid being caught. There’s also a reference to the ritual of forced wedding still practised in some parts of rural India, where the groom is kidnapped and made to marry the girl, against his wishes.

But if you think that Jha would’ve taken a serious consideration of the issue, then you are mistaken. Much later in the film, in an alcohol-induced state, Bhola reveals to Saurabh Shukla’s Murari that he’s only doing this as a favour to women. He justifies that there’s no harm in fleecing women off their money if in return he gives them happiness of a marital life. Yes, we rolled our eyes too!

So, on one such escapade he meets Murari and amidst fart jokes, silly item numbers and bromantic love, the duo take us through their frauds. How does Bhola get in and out of some of the most awkward situations is what the film is about. But what happens when he finally falls in love with the woman he was planning to cheat?

Yay: If you ignore the fart humour, then Arshad and Saurabh’s bromance may have a few moments where you might feel entertained, with strong emphasis on the word few. An item song by Elli – the remix of Chamma Chamma is the only time that you get a break from the drudgery onscreen.

Nay: The film is supposed to be a comedy, but the director (Sourabh Shrivastava) clearly fails to evoke a good laugh at any point. Arshad and Saurabh are fine actors and after their Jolly LLB chemistry you’d want a repeat. But here both seem to be burdened by a far too laid-back screenplay and execution. The low-cut blouses of the actresses and their waists do more acting than they themselves do in this mindless film.

Cine Blitz Verdict: The film starts with Arshad Warsi running away from a crowd as they chase him down. You will relate to Arshad in that situation by the time the movie is well into its first 30 minutes. We won’t blame you if you see yourself running away from the movie at the speed in which Arshad runs from the mob chasing him.

Rating: 1 star

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Movie Reviews

Why Cheat India movie review: Emraan Hashmi’s film lacks in several departments

Here’s our movie review of Why Cheat India featuring Emraan Hashmi and Shreya Dhanwantry!

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I want to request the film board to issue a new disclaimer stating, ‘We have not read and approved the screenplay even once before investing and making this masterpiece, so please enter the theatres at you own risk.’ I am still confused what was this film trying to say. Was the protagonist against cheating? Was he for it? Was he questioning our education system? Not a single question was answered in the two hours. So what was it? Chalo batata hu.

Not getting into the storyline because I am sure not even the makers can tell you what that is, it’s just all over the place. I was 14 when I saw and loved Jannat, today I saw a desi revised version of it with a few things more leading to nothing. But this time it isn’t cricket that he bids on, it’s our education system. Remember by the end Sonal Chauhan helping cops to arrest him in Jannat, it’s SAME here. He gets into the cheating business so much so that he calls a big conference of parents and leaks and dictates the MBA papers without anyone knowing it and the joke is on us.

I went in expecting a plot regarding the cheating scams that we hear about happening in our education system, especially in some parts of the North that are notorious for it and that’s where the film is set too. Now the film starts with what was promised – with the scam happening and the students involved in it – and sets the base right. Also the set design, costumes look authentic. But by the time it reaches the second half, it completely takes a wrong turn and gets into romance then again into cheating then someone taking revenge and ending into a court room drama which leads to Emraan getting out of jail in some time and again doing what he did when the film begun.

You see the displacement basically is zero and so is my understanding of this film. Out of context, two romantic songs and a random kiss are thrown at you and it looks like the director thought ‘Emraan ko liya hai toh romantic songs aur ek kiss to banti hai‘. Also there is a small drug addiction angle.

About the the acting performances, Emraan is the same from Jannat but in formals and a moustache this time. There is something about the new Emraan though. He is likeable in everything he does and holds you, I liked his work. Just to give his character a layer he has infinite photo frames of gods and goddesses in his office and always has prasad in his pocket. Snighdeep Chatterjee plays Sattu as he is supposed to and looks the part. Shreya Dhanwanthary is the one who seems to have made the most effort throughout. Also there is Manoj Sharma and debutanat Shibani Bedi who gets to play her iDiva wali aunty character for a longer stretch but is entertaining and funny.

By the end Emraan’s character Rakesh, his father and a random politician are having a conversation in jail which itself is the spoof of this film and tells you that even they haven’t taken this film seriously so you shouldn’t even try. These are still the major ones, I am not even getting into the smaller points that this film makes you suffer through. And now if you still think I will recommend if you should watch or not, do you really want me to say that.

PS: In the end the screen flashes that ‘In a survey 50 percent students admit to cheating in IIT-BOMBAY’. I’m eager who are those students admitting on record and does IIT-BOMBAY know about this survey.

PPS: I don’t know what made the makers do this, but while a class is going on and attendance is being taken a student is named TANUJ GARG. We got ya!

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Movie Reviews

The Lift Boy movie review: Jonathan Augustin tells a heartfelt story with an honest approach

The Lift Boy movie review: Moin Khan, Nyla Masood, Saagar Kale is a sweet film which is worth a watch!

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the lift boy movie review

There are some films you root for even if they have some flaws, you ignore them and love the story that is being told with dedication and love which is visible on screen. Raju, a young aspirant engineering student has to fill in for his ill father as the lift boy in a posh building. There, his workplace is inside a lift with an abstract painting of a lollypop which is the only bright spot in that awful claustrophobic space.

It is a slice of life film that talks about the bonds that Raju makes after getting into a job he is not supposed to be in. Yes, he does crib about it (he should) but then what he gets from it is something far more precious. There is a reason why we get attracted to such slice-of-life films, what makes these films a high point is the connection between the characters which translates on screen and indirectly connects the audience.

To talk in specific, The Lift Boy doesn’t give any character an introduction, they just enter the frame and grow on you. You get to understand them layer-by-layer and you start to know them as someone you have known for a long time. It is not about the extravaganza around the characters but the characters themselves.

A boy who has dreams, but is too lazy to chase them. Yet at the same time he understands his responsibilities. An old childless widow (Mrs D’Souza) who owns the building Raju is working in and wants this lift man’s son to be successful one day because she has looked after him as her own child. A teenage girl (Princess) who is forced by her mother to be an actor even when she doesn’t want to, befriends Raju and feels that she can talk to him freely about everything. A friend (Shaun), who is funny but is the most trustworthy and helpful friend one can ever get, is Raju’s motivator also. Raju and Shaun make a Laurel and Hardy pair together which is cute.

Showing parents who think Arts is not a field, and so wanting their son to be an engineer is another credible part of the storyline. These are the characters that form this worthy story The Lift Boy. In a conversation with Mrs D’Souza, Raju mentions his love for literature and he reads The Great Gatsbywhile in the lift. Later he develops friendship with Princess and they hang-out in the lift together. Raju has a drop in his exams and Mrs D’Souza helps him study during which they form a very good bond. By the end what happens, correctly portrays that people enter your life with a role to play and exit when it’s done, that’s life.

Now to concentrate the whole focus on his characters, debutant director Jonathan Augustin keeps the set design minimal. Be it Raju’s house in a chawl or the elite apartments in the building where Raju works. Everything has minimum furniture or props around which for sure work. Yes, there are some flaws – Mrs D’Souza learning engineering drawing over a night to teach Raju next day, Princess disappearing for a major chunk of time, the end feels a bit stretched, whereas I would have loved if it was open-ended and some more. But I ignored them because I was absorbed in the vulnerability of the screenplay and the honesty that it was portrayed with.

Looking at the camera angles and shooting techniques the film looks more suitable for the OTT platforms but the makers decided to give it a theatrical release, which is great. Not everyone will like this film but for the ones who do like it, it will stay with them for a long while.

PS: Nyla Masood who plays Mrs D’Souza has been a costume designer and this is her debut. Fine actor she is.

PPS: The director very subtly shows the fabric of the characters. Like the scene in which Princess gets some leftover food for Raju, which he declines to accept, saying that he only has fresh food.

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