DEKH TAMASHA DEKH

Eros International and Bombay Local Pictures’ Dekh Tamasha Dekh (A) is a satire on the socio-political system in India. It revolves around the search for the religious identity of a poor man crushed under the weight of a politician’s huge cutout. A poor man is crushed to death under the cutout of politician Mutha Seth (Satish Kaushik). Even as a group of Muslims are cremating him by burying his body, some Hindus come and raise objections, asking for the body to be handed over to them. While the Muslims claim, the dead man was a Muslim, the Hindus are relentless in their claim that he was one among them. The matter reaches the police and even the court. Meanwhile, the dead man’s body is kept in the morgue and not given even to his own brother, Laxman (Hridaynath Rane).

The tension assumes gigantic proportions as politicians enter the controversy and legal drama. Why, communal riots also break out in the area even as the court orders that the body be handed over to the deceased’s brother, Laxman. Meanwhile, the deceased’s widow, Fatima (Tanvi Azmi), is not at all in favour of the ongoing controversy as she is fine with the body being consigned to flames as per Hindu tradition or being buried according to Muslim rites.

A local newspaper keeps reporting about the juicy gossip surrounding the accidental death as politicians make capital out of the unfortunate controversy. What happens ultimately?

Shafaat Khan’s story is a satire on the social and political scenario in the country and, by its very nature, is not very commercial. He has penned a screenplay which, while appealing to a very thin section of the class audience, will be found to be boring and quite meaningless by the large chunk of mass audience. Since the entire drama is about one dead body, the masses among the audience, especially those seeking entertainment in the traditional sense of the term, will soon get bored of the film. The only entertainment the film provides is satirical and that will be enjoyed by just a small segment of the elite audience. Perhaps, the truly entertaining and enjoyable part of the film is the courtroom drama which lasts for a few minutes only. Shafaat Khan’s dialogues are appropriate to the subject and go well with the film’s mood.

Satish Kaushik plays the opportunistic politician with elan. Tanvi Azmi is suitably restrained as the widow of the dead man. Vinay Jain leaves a mark as police officer Vishwasrao. Ganesh Yadav is natural in the role of police inspector Sawant. As Hindu leader Bandekar, Sharad Ponkshe shines. Satish Alekar is pretty effective as Prof. Shastri. Apoorva Arora (as Shabbo) and Alok Rajwade (as Prashant) leave their marks in their roles. Sudhir Pandey makes his presence felt in the role of Maulana. Santosh Juwekar (as Badshah), Jayant Wadkar (as Muslim leader Sattar), Dhiresh Joshi (as Kulkarni, editor of the newspaper), Nikhil Ratnaparkhi (as journalist Deshpande), Angad Mhaskar (as journalist Rafiq Shaikh), Kishore Pradhan (as the magistrate), Kishore Choughule (as constable Naik), Abhay Mahajan (as Anwar), Spruha Joshi (as Rafiq’s wife), Satish Tare (as Hameed), Shashank Shende (as the lawyer from the Muslim side), Sunil Godbole (as the lawyer from the Hindu side), Rajesh Bhosle (as Pandu), Hridaynath Rane (as Laxman), Manasi Joshi (as the nurse), Chinmay Pataskar (as Kulkarni’s assistant), Dutta Sonawane (as the garage owner), Ganesh Revdekar (as the possessed constable) and the rest lend creditable support.

Feroz Abbas Khan’s direction is sensitive but, like the script, it would be appreciated more by the festival circuit audience than by common film buffs. Hemant Chaturvedi’s cinematography is very nice. Action scenes, choreographed by Kaushal-Moses, are natural. Khalil’s sets are realistic (consultant: Nitin Chandrakant Desai). Sreekar Prasad’s editing is good.

On the whole, Dekh Tamasha Dekhis a satire devoid of commercial ingredients. It will go as it has come – unnoticed. Flop!

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2 STATES

Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. and Dharma Productions Pvt. Ltd.’s 2 States (UA) is the love story of a Punjabi boy and a Tamil girl. Krish Malhotra (Arjun Kapoor), a Punjabi boy, and Ananya Swaminathan (Alia Bhatt), a Tamil Brahmin, meet in college in Ahmedabad and fall in love. They don’t envisage the problems they will face from their families because of the cross-cultural marriage.

Krish hails from a dysfunctional family. His father, Vikram Malhotra (Ronit Roy), does not get along with his simple mother, Kavita (Amrita Singh), who silently bears the humiliation and even physical torture heaped on her by her husband. Since Krish’s sympathies lie with his mother, he has come to hate his father from the core of his heart. Kavita Malhotra dreams of a rich fat wedding for her educated son and has no qualms in admitting that she hopes, the to-be bride would bring good dowry. Ananya’s family is sophisticated and educated. The parents of both, Krish and Ananya, don’t take to the news very well when they are told about the same at the convocation ceremony of Krish and Ananya. The tension is palpable because of the cultural differences between the two families.

Anyway, Krish takes up a job in Chennai because Ananya gets a job there. Since Ananya lives with her parents in Chennai, Krish often visits her home and succeeds in winning their confidence. Why, he even gets them to agree to give their daughter’s hand in marriage to him. Krish returns to Delhi with Ananya to attend the marriage of his cousin, Minti. Krish’s mother is not at all happy with Krish’s fondness for Ananya and misses no opportunity to ridicule her. All that changes when, on the day of Minti’s marriage, Ananya comes to the rescue of Minti’s parents and makes her to-be husband, Duke, convince his parents to not demand a bigger car in dowry.

The stage now seems to be set for the wedding of Krish and Ananya. But matters go out of hand completely when Kavita Malhotra vents her frustration in front of Ananya’s parents. In disgust, Ananya walks out on Krish. Since Ananya’s parents are completely disgusted with the behaviour of Krish’s mother, there’s no way, they would relent. And Krish has no way of making his mother see reason while his father, in any case, had not approved of his love affair in the first place.

Will the two love birds unite in matrimony? Who will play the catalyst to diffuse the tension between the two families?

The film is based on Chetan Bhagat’s 2 States: The Story Of My Marriage. The story is universally appealing as even today, in an age when inter-caste, cross-cultural and even inter-communal marriages are quite common, family tensions relating to such marriages are not uncommon. The adapted screenplay, written by Abhishek Varman, is interesting, especially once the tension between the two families manifests itself. The budding romance in the college is alright but it could’ve been fresher and more entertaining. The light scenes in the first half are funny at places but at other places, they don’t evoke the de­sired laughter. However, the pace picks up after interval and the drama also becomes more interesting once the portion of the parents begins. The tension between the two families and also the tension within Krish’s family – old and new – which unfolds on the screen is very engaging. While the hostility between Kavita Malhotra and Ananya’s parents is entertaining, that between Kavita and husband Vikram Malhotra is pretty engrossing. The latter part of the drama also has its share of emotional moments. All in all, the second half of the drama definitely scores over the first half and completely entertains the audience. The look and feel of the film is very city-centric which is why it would appeal more to the audience in the big cities and those frequenting multiplexes. Dialogues, penned by Hussain Dalal, are very appealing and often add to the dramatic impact.

Arjun Kapoor does an ordinary job of Krish Malhotra. He is quite laidback in his approach and does not believe in changing his expressions or modulating his voice to the desired extent, which make it appear as if something is holding him back. He, nevertheless, stands out in the scenes in which he interacts with his father. Alia Bhatt delivers an endearing performance, using her body language and facial expressions to great advantage. She has looked cute and innocent, which is the demand of the character. Ronit Roy performs just too brilliantly. As Vikram Malhotra, he evokes hatred for himself in the minds of the viewers. Although he doesn’t have too many scenes, he shines brilliantly. There are a couple of scenes in which one can hear his dialogues but not see him throughout – and it is in such scenes that the man’s genius gets underlined. Amrita Singh is excellent in the role of Kavita Malhotra. It is sheer delight to watch her perform. She uses her eyes to great advantage to express different emotions at different times. Revathy gives a dignified performance. She looks the character she plays and does full justice to it. Shiv Subramanyam does a fair job as Ananya’s father. Achint Kaur is effective as Krish’s maternal aunt. Aru K. Verma (as Duke), Madhu Chandok (as Duke’s mother), Nikita Hingorani (as Minti), Ashwin Kaushal (as Duke’s father), Major Bikramjeet Kanwarpal (as Rajji mama), Mansi Multani (as Dolly), Neeru Chopra (as Kamla mami), Yashwant Singh (as the professor), Sanjay Bhatia (as the mess worker), Suresh Venkat (as Balakrishna Rao) and the rest provide fair support.

Debut-making director Abhishek Varman shows his sensitive and mature side in the handling of scenes involving the elders in the family. The youthful scenes could’ve been better handled, though. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is very good but not super-hit. ‘Locha-e-ulfat’, ‘Chaandiniya’ and ‘Iski uski’ are fast-paced songs which are quite appealing. The ‘Mast magan’ song has a lot of lilt. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are weighty. The Tamil lyrics (and dialogues) are by Niranjan Iyengar. Song picturisations (by Remo D’souza) are alright and deserved to be better. Tubby-Parik’s background music is very effective. Binod Pradhan’s camerawork is of a high standard. Amrita Mahal Nakai’s sets are neat and nice. Namrata Rao’s editing is sharp.

On the whole, 2 States is an entertaining love story which will definitely work at the box-office – more in the cities and with the multiplex audience. With almost 80-85% of its entire cost (of producing, promoting and releasing) recoverable from non-theatrical sources, reaping a rich harvest should be a cakewalk for the producers as its theatrical business will also be good. Business in Overseas will be very good, additionally because of the Easter weekend. The film’s distributors and exhibitors will all make decent profits in the film.

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BHOOTHNATH RETURNS

T-Series and B.R. Films’ Bhooth­nath Returns is the sequel to Bhoothnath. Friendly ghost Bhoothnath becomes the butt end of all jokes in Bhooth World because he has been unable to scare anyone on Earth. Dis­tressed about being ridiculed, Bhoothnath asks for an opportunity to be reborn, as a human being but since there is a long waiting list, he is sent to Earth once again so that he can frighten people and thereby prove to be true to his character (of a ghost).

Once among human beings, Bhoothnath can be seen only by a little boy, Akhrot (master Parth Shashank Bhalerao). Akhrot soon strikes up a special bond of friendship with Bhoothnath who then ensures that the little boy earns money for his impoverished and widowed mother by helping him (Akhrot) vacate ghosts from dilapidated and old building structures for a price. Elections are around the corner and local corrupt politician Bhau (Boman Irani) is at it again, trying to woo the voters of his constituency. Akhrot literally forces Bhoothnath to contest elections to give Bhau tough competition. The two of them go to advocate Gabdi (Sanjay Mishra) who is at first flabbergasted at the prospect of a ghost contesting elections but then realises that being alive is not spelt out as a pre-condition for one to fight elections. Bhoothnath files his nomination papers. At first amused by the unprecedented move, Bhau soon begins to feel the heat under his collar when Bhoothnath starts to become popular among the people of his constituency due to media coverage given to the unusual candidate and his nomination.

Election campaigning begins in right earnest and Bhoothnath exposes the misdeeds of Bhau before the voters. Soon, Bhoothnath vows not to use his ghostly super-power to woo voters because Bhau accuses him of not fighting a fair battle.

As the election day approaches, Bhau realises that Bhoothnath’s popularity has grown manifold. He tries to put a spoke in the wheel by pointing out that a candidate must be capable of voting and since Bhoothnath was a ghost, he couldn’t vote and, by implication, was not eligible to contest elections. But help comes out of the blue when Banku’s father (Shah Rukh Khan) gives Bhoothnath a significant piece of information. With this relevant information, the system now considers Bhoothnath eligible as a candidate. Bhoothnath appeals to the people to at least exercise their voting power by casting their vote, whether for himself or Bhau or none of them. In a pointed manner, he explains that the voice of people without voter cards would never be heard. This soon becomes a movement with individuals who don’t possess voter cards not being heard even in day-to-day life by Bhoothnath’s supporters whose number keeps growing.

Finally, on seeing Bhoothnath stealing the thunder from right under his nose, Bhau is driven to despair and he sends his men to kill Akhrot as Bhoothnath is very fond of him and, he feels, only the boy’s death would ensure his (Bhau) victory. Akhrot escapes once but is not as lucky the second time when Bhau’s men injure him grievously. He is admitted to the ICU of a hospital where he battles for life.

What happens then? Does little Akhrot die or is he saved by medical science or otherwise? Who wins the elections – Bhoothnath or Bhau?

Nitesh Tiwari and Piyush Gupta’s story is very unusual and although it is absurd to even imagine that a ghost can contest elections, the drama becomes plausible and palatable because of their entertaining and satirical screenplay, with additional screenplay by Nikhil Mehrotra and Shreyas Jain. The film becomes a satirical comment on the political and social system in the country and talks of corruption, lack of accountability and the like with such simplistic humour that the audience gets taken in very easily. Yes, the film drags at places when the proceedings become very slow and this tends to bore the audience sometimes but the sheer novelty of subject, the entertainment quotient and the satire keep entertaining the viewers. Further, the issues taken up by Bhoothnath – water shortage, potholed roads and garbage on the streets – are so real that the common man will identity with them. Also, since the Lok Sabha elections in India are currently on in the country, the film’s appeal due to its timely release would be higher.

The film boasts of a number of highlight scenes and sequences. Prominent among such scenes are: Bhoothnath helping Akhrot make money by driving out ghosts; Bhoothnath consulting a lawyer for contesting elections; Bhau’s reaction to the news of Bhoothnath’s candidature; Bhoothnath starting the voter card movement and how it gains momentum; Bhoothnath’s encounter with Bhau in the latter’s toilet; Bhoothnath’s television interviews; Bhoothnath’s meeting with a film lyricist (Anurag Kashyap); etc. The scene of Banku’s father (Shah Rukh Khan) giving Bhoothnath a piece of information will be met with a round of applause in the cinema halls. Similarly, Ranbir Kapoor’s (himself) scene will be loved by the audience. The film also has its share of emotions, especially towards the end. Romance is completely missing and that’s a minus point. Climax is too short and leaves the viewer a bit dissatisfied. Dialogues, penned by Nitesh Tiwari and Piyush Gupta, with additional dialogues by Nikhil Mehrotra and Shreyas Jain, are superb and one of the several mainstays of the film. The humour and the satire in the dialogues make them supremely enjoyable and entertaining. All in all, the script is intelligent, entertaining and engrossing.

Amitabh Bachchan lives the character of Bhoothnath and yet again gives proof of his genius as an actor. He does such a wonderful job that it is difficult to imagine any other actor playing the role with such sincerity and finesse. His facial expressions and body language, adding to his performance, are to die for. His dances are graceful as ever. Boman Irani shines once more and comes up trumps in the role of the wily politician, Bhau. He is exceptionally funny in the comic scenes and suitably vicious in the scenes of villainy. The scenes showing his frustration are also first-rate. Master Parth Shashank Bhalerao gives an award-winning performance and is a major highlight of the film. His acting will be a magnet for the kid audience. His ease in front of the camera and his style of dialogue delivery are just too terrific. Sanjay Mishra leaves a mark as advocate Gabdi. Usha Jadhav has her moments as Akhrot’s mother. She acts very well. Usha Nadkarni is endearing as the aware lady in the Dharavi constituency. Brijendra Kala, as Bhau’s aide, Lallan, impresses with his natural act­ing and makes his presence felt whenever he comes on the scene. Shah Rukh Khan greatly appeals in a spe­cial appearance. Ranbir Kapoor is also lovely in a special appearance. Anurag Kashyap is supremely natural in a special appearance. Anant Jog is pretty effective as the opposition party leader. Uday Shankar Lagoo is first-rate as the election officer. Santosh Darrne (as the token officer), Shankar Sachdev (as Shirke), Vijay Maurya (as the Rs. 300-crore project ghost), Kurush Deboo (as the psychiatrist), Kamlesh Tukaram Sawant (as the police inspector), Ajay Jadhav (as the police constable) and Subrat Dutta (as the engineer ghost) provide excellent support. Neeraj Sood (as the insurance officer), Mukesh Bhatt (as a ghost), Aakash Dahiya (as a ghost), Dhirendra Dwivedi (as Dheeraj), Pawan Mahendru (as the senior party leader), Owais (as the kid at the tea-stall), A.R. Manikandan (as the garbage officer of BMC), Sisir Kumar Asthana (as the BMC officer in charge of potholes) and Madhav Roy Kapur (as the BMC officer in the swimming pool) lend able support.

Nitesh Tiwari’s direction is splendid. He has made a topical film and laced it with a lot of humour and a dash of emotions too. He has also extracted great work from out of his actors. Music is a mixed bag. The ‘Party toh banti hai’ song (composed by Meet Bros. Anjjan and Palash Muchhal) is already a hit. The ‘Party with Bhoothnath’ song is also very well-tuned (by Honey Singh). The other songs (tuned by Ram Sampath) are okay. Lyrics (Kumaar, Honey Singh, Kunwar Juneja, Munna Dhiman, Nitesh Tiwari and Nikhil Mehrotra) are appropriate and go very well with the moods of the different songs. The picturisation of ‘Party toh banti hai’ (by Bosco-Caesar) is superb. Another song with eye-catching choreography (Bosco-Caesar) is the ‘Party with Bhoothnath’ song. Hitesh Sonik’s background music is lovely. Kamaljeet Negi’s cinematography is splendid. Wasiq Khan’s sets are nice. Kaushal-Moses’ action scenes are good. Chandrashekhar Prajapati’s editing is crisp.

On the whole, Bhoothnath Returns is an entertaining film although it is slow and boring in parts. It has the potential to score on the strength of positive word of mouth. Its collections deserve to pick up but it is a fact that it has taken a very dull start because of absence of the youth factor in it and that is a major minus point as the first weekend is of paramount importance.

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JAL

One World Films, Clapstem Productions and NFDC’s Jal (UA) is the story of a water diviner who lives in a village in the dry and barren region of Rann of Kutch.

Bakka (Purab H. Kohli) lives in a village in the Rann of Kutch. The village has no well and is dry and arid. Bakka, who is in love with Kesar (Kirti Kulhari), a girl from the neighbouring village, is a water diviner but is somehow unsuccessful in locating water reserves in his own village. Richard (Gary Richardson) and Kim (Saidah Jules) are foreigners who’ve come to the Rann of Kutch to study about the migratory flamingoes. To Kim’s horror, she sees that a number of flamingoes have died in the region due to salt water. With a view to saving the birds in future, Kim and Richard call for a huge drilling machine to drill the arid land to get potable water. When they are unable to locate water reserves, they use Bakka’s services and meet with great success. Bakka, who is given a job by the government, gets married to Kesar.

Bakka then asks Richard to lend him the machine for two days so that he can dig the water reserves in his village and thereby ensure that the village has a permanent well. But the selfish Richard leaves the Rann of Kutch without caring for Bakka’s pleas. It is then that the villagers decide to steal the huge drilling machine and take it to their village to drill the land earmarked by Bakka, the water diviner. The villagers even contribute towards the diesel charges to run the machine by giving their ornaments.

As bad luck would have it, the machine breaks down before a water reserve can be located. As if that weren’t bad enough, Bakka’s friend, Rakla (Ravi Gossain), is murdered. The villagers accuse Bakka of killing Rakla and stealing the ornaments they had collected to contribute towards diesel charges of the drilling machine. Bakka is banished from the village. With nowhere to go, he and wife Kesar, who is now pregnant, go to Kesar’s village.

What happens thereafter? Do the inhabitants of Kesar’s village give Bakka refuge or do they throw him out? Who had killed Rakla? Where have the expensive ornaments of the villagers gone? Does Kesar deliver her child in her father’s village or her husband’s village? What happens to Bakka?

Rakesh Mishra’s story is unusual and quite interesting. Girish Malik and Rakesh Mishra have woven a screenplay which keeps the audience’s interest alive. The drama takes a while to pick up but once it does, the interest level doesn’t dip. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the second half is more interesting than the first. Having said that, it must be added that for the average moviegoer, boredom would creep in after a point of time because the entire film has been shot on the open dry and arid land. In other words, people used to the usual entertainment offered by masala films will find the drama dry and boring after a point of time – and thanks in no small measure to the tediousness which creeps in due to the arid locations. By its very nature, the film has very limited and sectional appeal. A glaring defect in the screenplay is Bakka’s covering up of Rakla’s murder. Had he taken the villagers into confidence right when the murder took place, things probably may not have gone out of hand as they do later. Frankly, there seems to be no justification for Bakka to hide the news of Rakla’s murder because it isn’t as if the villa­gers wouldn’t notice his absence; since there are hardly any people in the vill­age, it seems rather strange for Bakka to have assumed that the murder or, rather, Rakla’s absence, would go unnoticed by the vilagers. Bakka’s silence looks like a convenient link in the drama chain. For, he was only postponing trouble, not avoiding it. Rather, his coming clean at the start itself may have actually helped him. Dialogues, penned by Rakesh Mishra, with additional dialogues by Girish Malik and Jagdeep Singh Sidhu, are very real.

Purab H. Kohli gets into the skin of Bakka’s character and plays it very naturally. His look and entire demeanour add to his character. Tannishtha Chatterjee performs splendidly as Kajri. Kirti Kulhari is very good in the role of Kesar. Saidah Jules has her moments as Kim. Yashpal Sharma plays to the gallery and evokes laughter at places, as Ram Khiladi. Mukul Dev shines in the role of Puniya. But he speaks his dialogues in a Punjabi accent instead of Kutchi. Rahul Singh makes his presence felt as Kisna Prasad. Ravi Gossain leaves a mark in the role of Rakla. Gary Richardson is good as Richard. Habib Azmi (as Velabhai), Vicky Ahuja (as Manga), Chandrabhan Singh (as Parnami), Savi Sidhu (as Mukhiya), Raju Barot (as Kheemabhai), Ravi Khanvilkar (as Sukhia), Siddharth Ray (as Mohanbhai), Hansmukh Bhavsar (as Ganibhai), Rohit Pathak (as Saab Ram), Komal Sharma (as Lajo), Kusum Ahir (as Dhankibai), Nayan Rana (as Ranabhai) and Elena Kazan (as Rose) provide excellent support.

Girish Malik’s direction is very good. He has been able to bring out the trials and tribulations of the hapless villagers on to the screen beautifully. But it is also a fact that he has made a film which holds appeal for a very thin minority of the audience. Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh’s music and background score are wonderful and complement the drama effectively. Sunita Radia’s photography is splendid. Parvez Khan’s action scenes are good. Dipankar Mondal’s sets are realistic. Protim Khaound’s editing is sharp.

On the whole, Jal quenches one’s thirst for good and meaningful cinema but its commercial prospects are very slim.

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MAIN TERA HERO

Balaji Telefilms Ltd.’s Main Tera Hero (UA) is a romcom. Shreenath Prasad alias Seenu (Varun Dhawan) is a good-for-nothing guy, poor in studies, and always upto mischief. He wears his heart on his sleeve (dil-phenk insaan). He comes to Bangalore to study when his teacher in his home town fails him for poor performance. As soon as he sets foot in college, he meets Sunaina (Ileana D’cruz) with whom he falls head over heels in love. But Sunaina is the apple of Angad Negi’s (Arunodaya Singh) eye. Although Angad is a police officer, he behaves like a ruffian and has anger control problems. Sunaina hates Angad but she dare not say so because that could land her father (Shirish Sharma) in jail.

Angad challenges Seenu to woo Sunaina but is shocked to learn that he is successful in winning her heart. There’s an underworld don, Vikrant (Anupam Kher), who lives in Bangkok with his daughter, Aisha (Nargis Fakhri), and paramour (Evelyn Sharma). Since Aisha loves Seenu and wants to marry him, her father manipulates things in such a way that Sunaina is kidnapped and held captive by him. The logic is that Aisha would marry Seenu if and only if Sunaina is out of his life. Police officer Angad wholeheartedly supports Aisha’s father as that’s the only way he would be able to get Seenu off Sunaina’s back and thereby marry her.

Once in Bangkok, Seenu pretends to reciprocate Aisha’s love as her father is a very influential and dangerous person. Sunaina is crest-fallen when she sees Seenu agreeing to marry Aisha but she soon learns that Seenu loves her and wants to secure her release and that his professing love for Aisha is an eyewash. Soon, Angad also lands in Bangkok. It is now Seenu’s endeavour to get Aisha off his back and also to run away with Sunaina. But does he succeed? Whom does he marry, Sunaina or Aisha or none of the two?

The film is a remake of Telugu hit Kandireega. Tushar Hiranandani’s screenplay is engaging and keeps the audience involved, engrossed and entertained right from the word ‘go’. The bottomline of the entire drama is entertainment – and this is ensured even at the cost of logic. In fact, the screenplay is full of illogicalities but the audiences craving for entertainment don’t mind it at all. They sometimes laugh at the comedy and at other times, at the stupidity and idiosyncracies of the various characters. Actually, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the drama oscillates between comedy and buffoonery, both of which entertain the audience. While the classes would laugh at the comic portions and feel only a bit entertained (without guffawing or, perhaps, without even laughing) by the buffoonery, the masses would feel tickled at both. Of course, the more discerning audience will not approve of the illogical drama. In other words, the screenplay restricts the film’s appeal.

The first half is good but it does have its dull moments as not everything is funny and the pace is also not very fast. But the drama picks up after interval and the pace also increases, giving the viewers enjoyable entertainment. The last few reels of the film are, of course, the best part of the drama as they keep the audience smiling and laughing at regular intervals. There are occasions in the last few reels when the audience is in splits. Milap Milan Zaveri’s dialogues are funny, some even hilarious.

Varun Dhawan shines in the role of Seenu, playing to the gallery, acting, dancing, prancing and generally entertaining the audience with his antics. He is very easy in front of the camera in comic scenes and his sense of timing is extremely good. His female fan following will increase after this film. Ileana D’cruz looks pretty and acts with ease. Nargis Fakhri suits the character of Aisha. She looks glamorous and performs well. Anupam Kher impresses with his inspired performance. The echo effect of his dialogues is a lovely punch for the audience. Arunodaya Singh does effectively what he is required to do. Saurabh Shukla is a major highlight of the film. First, as a talkative aide of Aisha’s father and then, as the wheelchair-bound patient who can’t talk, Saurabh is simply brilliant. He evokes a lot of laughter. Rajpal Yadav is another actor who is in his element. He makes the viewers laugh with his acting and dialogue-delivery. He, too, adds to the film’s entertainment quotient. Evelyn Sharma has her moments. Manoj Pahwa and Supriya Shukla lend able support as Seenu’s parents. Shakti Kapoor makes his presence felt in a special appearance. Shirish Sharma and Gargi Patel make their mark as the parents of Sunaina. Raju Kher (as Seenu’s teacher), Ashwin Mushran (as the instructor in the anger management class) and the rest provide the necessary support.

David Dhawan’s direction is credible. He keeps the narrative pace fast, more so in the post-interval portion, and does not deviate from his one-point plan: to entertain. Sajid-Wajid’s music score is very good. All the songs are extremely popular and their lyrics (Kausar Munir, Kumaar and Danish Sabri) blend well with the mood and feel of the film. Song picturisations (Ganesh Acharya for ‘Shanivar rati’, and Bosco-Caesar for the other songs) are all truly eye-filling. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the songs come as a welcome diversion. Sandeep Shirodkar’s background music is pretty effective. Sanjay F. Gupta’s camerawork is lovely. Action scenes, composed by Mahendra Verma, are alright. Sukant Panigrahy’s sets and art direction are of a good standard. Nitin Madhukar Rokade’s editing is sharp.

On the whole, Main Tera Hero is an entertaining fare and will keep everyone associated with it happy. The producers have recovered a hefty part of the total investment (Rs. 38 crore) – almost 55% – from sale of satellite rights alone. After taking into account receipts from sale of audio, Overseas and other ancillary rights (approximately 20%), recovery of the balance 25% from India theatrical business should be a cakewalk.

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DISHKIYAOON
Eros International and ESM’s Dishkiyaoon (UA) is the story of a gangster. Viki Kartoos (Harman Baweja) is a gangster who was trained, since childhood, by gangster Tony (Prashant Narayanan) who works for Khaleefa (Sumit Nijhawan). Viki wants to eliminate rival don Gujjar (Rajesh Vivek) and Khaleefa so that he can himself become the supreme don. He has Tony’s blessings for the same. Also working with Tony is another gangster, Rocky Chu (Anand Tiwari). Viki and Rocky can’t see eye to eye as their natures are completely different. While Viki has a golden heart, Rocky is evil. Rocky’s uncle, Sawant (Dayashankar Pandey), keeps instigating him against Viki.
Viki loves Meera (Ayesha Khanna) and she, too, loves him but she is very unhappy about his gangsterism. Viki wouldn’t mind leaving the world of crime to settle down happily with Meera but he realises, he can’t.
One day, Khaleefa gets Tony as well as Gujjar’s accountant, Parekh (Harsh Chhaya), killed. He asks Viki to serve jail time for the murders. Viki is incensed and devastated but he and his childhood friend, Ketan (Hasan Zaidi), play it smartly. He goes to jail to win Khaleefa’s confidence. Ketan starts looking after the accounts of Khaleefa (including the accounts of Gujjar, which have come to Khaleefa after Parekh’s death, following which Gujjar has gone underground). Once out of prison, Viki joins Khaleefa again and grows from strength to strength, but Rocky spoils it all. Khaleefa, who had reposed faith in Viki, now loses faith in him because of Rocky’s machinations. However, Viki, soon wins Khaleefa’s confidence once again. Viki, all along, is being helped by Lakwa (Sunny Deol) whom he had befriended in jail.
Meanwhile, police inspector Nawab Khan (Aditya Pancholi) goes hammer and tongs after Khaleefa as one of his men had killed his daughter. What happens thereafter? Is Viki able to avenge the murder of his mentor, Tony? What happens to Khaleefa and Rocky? Does Viki eliminate Gujjar? Does Lakwa continue to help Viki? Do Viki and Ketan flourish as a team? Do Viki and Meera unite in matrimony?
Sanamjit Talwar has penned a very convoluted and confusing story. His screenplay is so long-winding, confusing and boring that it entertains only occasionally. The first half is slow and boring. The pace of the drama picks up after interval but each episode of the story takes so long to come to the point that the audience loses its patience by then. There is no relief in the film in the form of comedy or light moments. The drama is tension-ridden and when it is not so, it is plain boring. Emotions are conspicuous by their absence. The romantic track of Viki and Meera is half-baked. Action is aplenty but the gun-shots aren’t exciting enough even for the masses. Another drawback is that Talwar has loaded the drama with so many characters and their tracks that it becomes painful for the viewer to remember all of them. There’s a track of Viki and Meera, another of Viki and his childhood friend, Ketan, a third track of Viki and Tony, a fourth track of Viki and Lakwa, a fifth track of Khaleefa, a sixth track of Rocky and his enmity with Viki, a seventh track of police inspector Nawab Khan, and several more! Since the drama is not engaging or engrossing, it becomes a task for the audience to keep track of so many different sub-plots and tales.
Another minus point about the film is that most of the characters are evil and/or indulge in illegal activities. This makes the film quite unpalatable for the womenfolk and the family audiences. Dialogues, written by Sanamjit Talwar, are good at a few places only.
Harman Baweja acts with gusto but to not much avail as the script is pathetic. Ayesha Khanna looks pretty but makes an ordinary debut as she hardly gets any scope. Sunny Deol looks tired and haggard and fails to impress. His hairstyle is bad, his get-up, worse still! Prashant Narayanan is natural to the core but he needs to speak more coherently and less speedily. Sumit Nijhawan is not menacing enough in the role of Khaleefa. Anand Tiwari leaves a distinct mark with his natural performance as Rocky Chu. Aditya Pancholi is okay. Hasan Zaidi makes his presence felt as Ketan. Shilpa Shetty adds oomph and glamour in a song-dance. Rajesh Vivek (as Gujjar), Rajit Kapur (as Viki’s father), Harsh Chhaya (as Parekh), Natasha (as Jia), Dayashankar Pandey (as Sawant), Aarif Sheikh (as Chauhan), Siraj Mustafa (as Soorti), Major Bikramjeet Kanwarpal (as the police commissioner) and the others provide fair support.
Sanamjit Talwar’s direction leaves a lot to be desired. His script as well as narrative style let tediousness creep into the drama quite early on. Sneha Khanwalkar and Palash Muchhal’s music is ordinary as not a single song stands out. Sanamjit Talwar’s lyrics are okay. Ranju Varghese’s choreography is functional. Julius Packiam’s background music is routine. Cinematography, by Axel Fischer, is appropriate. Pradyumna Kumar Swain’s action and stunts cater to only the front-benchers, that too of the smaller centres. Sets (by Ajay Verekar, Sukant Panigrahy, Snigdha Karmahe and Pankaj Pol) are average. Rameshwar S. Bhagat’s editing is loose.
On the whole, Dishkiyaoon is a dull fare and will, therefore, bomb at the box-office. It will entail heavy losses to all concerned.

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YOUNGISTAAN
MSM Motion Pictures and Pooja Entertainment & Films Ltd.’s Youngistaan (UA) is the story of a happy-go-lucky 28-year-old who is forced to become the country’s prime minister for a brief period and how he balances his professional life and his personal life. On the personal front, he is in a live-in relationship with his girlfriend.
Abhimanyu Kaul (Jackky Bhagnani) and Anwita Chauhan (Neha Sharma) are in a live-in relationship in Japan. Abhimanyu’s father, Dashrat Kaul (Boman Irani), is the prime minister of India and is seriously ill. Soon, he breathes his last but not before telling his son to take up the prime ministerial job if offered to him. Akbar Ahmad (Farooque Shaikh) is Dashrat Kaul’s trusted PA. Abhimanyu is actually offered the prime minister’s seat but he is reluctant to accept the post. However, he respects his late father far too much to not fulfill his last wish.
As Abhimanyu readies himself, albeit reluctantly, to become India’s prime minister, girlfriend Anwita throws a tantrum because she sees her freedom going out of the window. Abhimanyu somehow convinces her and becomes the prime minister. The real problems, however, start once Abhimanyu takes charge. Soon, the news of the prime minister’s live-in relationship leaks out to the media which then makes it public. Abhimanyu has to bear the brunt of the media and public backlash for this, and there is resentment within his own party too. But he is not willing to change. The two love birds even discuss marriage but Anwita turns down Abhimanyu’s marriage proposal as she feels, the world cannot dictate when the two should marry. More problems arise when news of Anwita’s pregnancy is out because the prime minister of the country has impregnated a woman without being married to her. Now, some of the ruling party’s own members turn against Abhimanyu.
Elections are announced. The live-in relationship card is used by the opposition to undermine the credibility of Abhimanyu and his party. On his part, Abhimanyu has proposed some changes which are very pro-public, both urban and rural, because he genuinely has the good of the country at heart. So what happens in the elections? Does the country’s youngest prime minister win over veterans and experience in the opposition and romp home victorious or do his unconventional deeds do him in?
Syed Ahmad Afzal, Ramiz Ilham Khan and Maitrey Bajpai have penned a story which is different but, unfortunately, their screenplay looks too far-fetched and contrived to be believable. For one, prime minister Dashrat Kaul seems to have been unaware of his son’s way of life (live-in relationship etc.) to have imagined that he could be the prime minister. Secondly, Anwita’s reaction to Abhimanyu being asked to become prime minister looks weird – anybody in her place would do anything to see her live-in partner become the country’s prime minister but she whines, cries, throws tantrums and it is not even clear why, because the reasons she gives are hardly convincing. Frankly, she was against him entering politics but anybody would understand that being offered the prime minister’s chair even before entering politics is, in a sense, very different from merely entering politics. Again, when news of the prime minister’s live-in relationship goes public, Abhimanyu and Anwita react as if they were so innocent that they didn’t even think that such an eventuality could arise. Likewise, when the news of the pregnancy breaks out, the couple’s reaction to the same continues to be unbelievable. In short, the characters, especially the lead characters, behave in a manner which is most unusual. Even Anwita’s refusal to marry Abhimanyu and the reason she gives for her refusal appear ridiculous. She fails to understand a simple thing – that the prime minister’s job comes with certain moral obligations. Her being oblivious to the prime minister’s moral responsibilities will neither be comprehended by the audience nor appreciated by it.
The first half is boring and slow but the pace definitely picks up after interval. However, since the drama continues to look implausible and forced even in the second half, the impact is minimal. The pre-climax and climax are interesting but the audience, by then, is so bored that their impact is diluted a great deal. Also, the impact of the changes proposed by Abhimanyu is not completely felt by the audience because they are mere proposals (conveyed through dialogues). The dialogues, penned by the writer trio, are okay.
Jackky Bhagnani delivers a uni-dimensional performance in a role which actually required a layered performance as also an actor with a far stronger image. Neha Sharma looks pretty and acts quite well but her character is so irritating that she will not win the audience’s sympathy at all. Farooque Shaikh suffers on account of a weak characterisation. He is so-so. Boman Irani is ordinary. Kayoze Irani, in a special appearance as Zafar, passes muster. Prakash Belawadi leaves a mark as Murli Mukundan. Deepankar De (as Shubhodeep Ganguly) and Triveni Sangam Bahuguna (as Ajay Thakur) lend fair support. Mita Vashisht gets limited scope in the role of Suhasini Singh Deo but she, nevertheless, does a good job. Brijendra Kala (as Desram), Praveen Singh Sisodia (as Radheshyam Gupta), Rajendra Sethi (as Kesrinath Singh) and Sanjay Bhatia (as com¬mentator at the Hockey Games) make their presence felt. Nitin Arora (as Farz Singh), Naresh Suri (as the RAW chief), K.K. Prasad (as CBI chief Inderjeet Sarin) and the rest lend ordinary support.
Syed Ahmad Fazal’s direction is not too convincing. The script demanded very sensitive handling but Fazal’s direction is childish. His narrative style makes the already unpalatable script appear even more unbelievable. Music (Jeet Ganguli, Shiraz Uppal, Sneha Khanwalkar and Shree Ishq) is a mixed bag. The ‘Sangemarmar’ song (Jeet Ganguli) is appealing; the others are okay. Lyrics (Kausar Munir, Shakeel Sohail, Sanamjit, Ahmad Afzal, Jackky Bhagnani, Sneha Khanwalkar and Siddharth Banerjee) are alright. Choreography (Bosco-Caesar, F.A. Khan and Mansi Aggarwal) is fair. Salim-Sulaiman’s background music is quite effective. Amalendu Chaudhary’s camerawork is fine. Sets (Sumon Roy Mahapatra, Nakazawa Shuhei Dsign Company and Aparna Sud) are good. Anuradha Singh’s editing could have been better.
On the whole, Youngistaan does not have the soul-stirring quality so necessary in a film of this kind. Although the last couple of reels are fairly nice, the implausibility of the drama makes it rather unpalatable for the audience. It will, therefore, fail to make its mark.

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