Thursday, August 12, 2010

Once Upon a Time in Mumbai

Genre: Gangster flick!

Koppireddy’s Tag Line: The good and the bad Dons!

Koppireddy’s Rating: 3 (Go watch it, given the pathetic variety of bollywood movies we have now a days to watch. Who knows how long later we get another watch-worthy movie)

Analysis: There seems to be no end to big dreams of turning into Dons this monsoon…After Don Seenu, this is another story of a contentious good don (though the oxymoron (don and good or contentious!) I used might piss you off, I cant help!) and an ambitious real baddie (played by Emraan Hashmi). By contentious good don I mean Robinhood type of don played by Ajay Devgan. The dialogues by Ajay Devgan( like ‘jo dosti se kar sakthe hai, tho dushmani kyon’), and punchers (like ‘kal ka wait karronga tho aaj bura maan jayegi’ and ‘haar and haar dono nahi hog, ayinda’) from Emraan Hasmi written by Rajat Araora are the main strength to the film. The plot is weak and some sequences by Milan Luthria are questionable and unconvincing (like the removing of patri to crossover and put them back safe, buying an amrit for 400 rupees, the cop not trying to save Mirza etc.). 70s looks was well worked out and looks effortless so kudos to cinematography and art work. Music is mediocre and borrows inspiration from some of RD Burman classics of that time the plot is set in…

Performances: Ajay Devgan does a Company type of role and I think he is comfortable doing such roles now. It would have been a cakewalk for him. Emraan Hashmi surprised me with his amazing screen presence though I should admit he still excelled in his trademark lovemaking scenes (to Prachi Desai) than in being a don. Kangana who played Ajay Devgan’s love interest, looked comfortable in the 70s look but not so much with Prachi Desai, though both the heroines featured the bouffant look on their hair. One was supposed to be a heroine and the other a shopgirl, so I wondered how both could afford a bouffant look! Randeep Hooda in the cop’s role was adequate.

Story (The Spoiler) Don’t read this part if you don’t like spoilers: The story is right out of biography page of Haji Mastan Mirza from wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haji_Mastan) who is the protagonist in the movie called Sultan Mirza (played by Ajay Devgan) except that the film is more dramatized by Shoaib (played by Emraan Hashmi) who also happens to kill the Sultan Mirza’s character. Though Shoaib is promoted as Dawood Ibrahim by the moviemakers, I don’t think there is any real life connection that way…
But Haji Mastan’s connection to bollywood is quickly covered in bits and pieces when Agnel (played by Randeep Hooda as the cop) tries to associate Sultan Mirza to producing the heroine’s films to some extent which he says is all illicit money. Another scene, where Kangana refers to making a movie on the Don’s life, and hire the new guy Amit. She was actually referring to Amitabh Bachan in the 70s who made Deewar inspired from Haji Mastan’s life…


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Don Seenu

Genre: Mass entertainer (this is the name I have chosen for telugu cinema which dishes out a drama, comedy, romance and action at the same time!)

Koppireddy’s Tagline: This is South Indian masala (literally, this is a dialogue by Ravi Teja during a crucial thumping session with the German goons…crucial because Shriya falls for Ravi Teja right here)

Analysis: Loud punches, intimidating voice pitch from the hero while delivering dialogues, flying goons (after the hero touching them ofcourse), mass numbers and a reverberating background score when the hero is on the frame or before his onset…these define a mass telugu movie and Don Seenu is one such movie. A little better than Anjaneyulu but no less mass than that. I am sure people like such movies from what we can see- all directors want to make more of such movies.

Keeping aside the logic and the validity of the plot, excusing it by declaring it to be an entertainer, lets go ahead! The comedy required is extracted from Bramhanandam, Ali and Venu Madhav. Songs are okay in parts but I am sure will appeal full length to masses. Fights are appealing with no over-done elements like in Anjaneyulu. Screenplay was good, especially in the first half. Cinematography is sure good. Dialogues by Kona Venkat are adequate for the movie. (Deenini geeki, danini gokadame is my particular favourite when Ravi Teja referes to the Gold credit card and the heroine respectively, he is provided by the baddies to trap heroine for their cause)

Performances: Ravi Teja’s action is clich├ęd but will entertain you. His energy levels and ease with which he adapts to the screenplay, and evokes comedy too, at times, mass dances and illuminating wit to outbeat a psychology student heroine (Shriya) all are worth mentioning

The show-stealer however is Shriya in the role of Deepthi. She is looking fresh (maybe because of her long gap in telugu cinema) and adds a lot of glam quotient to the film. 30s is the new 20s, I guess…Shriya looked much more glamorous than many of the 20s heroines. Maybe, ladies want to find out her anti-aging formula! Otherwise, she is a submissive heroine to the hero like in any other mass cinema.

Shyaji Shinde, Mahesh Manjerakar, Srihari all add to the comedy gang as their fierceness as villains is a passe when Ravi Teja himself want to be a don. The second heroine Anjana Sukhani adds to the oomph factor onscreen and others are okay in one of the gangs including Brahmaji, who is now reduced to a member in one of the gangs.

Story: I am sure the idea to produce a mass entertainer came first and then probably the story. Don Seenu (played by Ravi Teja) inspired by Amitabh would always want to be a don. He fools around with the existing dons in Hyderabad, Machineni (played by Shayaji Shinde) and Narsing(played by SriHari). As part of the fooling he is sent to Germany on his first assignment from the Machineni gang to trap Narsing’s sister and that lays the foundation for first half. With 2 heroines Deepthi and Priya (Shriya and Anjana respectively) in Germany and a Seenu’s pretext of being a photographer looking for a traditional Indian girl for his cover, the first half goes through the usual antics of the hero.

A small twist as you enter the theater back with popcorn, and the fooling around of Dons continues…this time you will start feeling the uselessness of the plot. I can see myself begging for something different but nothing happens before the climax suddenly condescends on you with a quick lurk back in to the flash back, where the Dons were friends and somehow the hero is Narsing’s brother-in-law. With only one villan left, Don Seenu pardons him and shoos him off the Dubai, implying he would rule the Indian mafia…Yes, its over