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Blog posts : "tabu"

Andhadhun - Honest Movie Review

[This review was first posted on Anurag's 'The Filmy Basti' Blog]

One of the least touched genres in Indian cinema has been dark comedy. With the evolving tastes of the audience, over the last few years there have been some experiments in this genre, starting with 'Delhi Belly' in 2011. Seven years later, there seems to be a worthy successor in Sriram Raghavan’s dark comedy, Andhadhun.

To sum it up without any spoilers, Andhadhun captures the intertwined lives of a struggling blind pianist, Akash (played by Ayushmann khurrana) and the wife of an aging superstar, Simi Sinha (played by Tabu). A series of unforeseen events unfold, comprising of a couple of murders, deceit and hilarious double-crossing of each other! The narrative is further enhanced by the vibrant supporting cast -  highlighted by a super-cop, Inspector Mahendra (played by Manav Vij), investigating the murders with his own ulterior motives. A bright and young restauranteur, Sofie (played by Radhika Apte), who not only hosts Akash’s gigs at her restaurant but also develops a liking for him. Then there are other quirky members of the cast who stand out in their small roles – a self-obsessed aging superstar, Pramod Sinha (played by Anil Dhawan), the super-cop’s wife who takes pride in her husband eating ’16 ande’, an over-smart kid who keeps a suspicious eye on Akash, a lottery-ticket seller Maushi and her auto-rickshaw driver brother, Murali. Giving away any other link would mean – SPOILERS!

Director Sriram Raghavan, along with his bunch of writers, creates a music filled narrative, that is not dark and gloomy – a trope used frequently in stereotypical dark comedies. I was reminded of last month’s Tamil comic thriller, Kolamavu Kokila (KoKo), which had a similar layering of comedy with the right amounts of thrills. Much like Koko, Andhadhun works for its brilliant dialogues by Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas, Pooja Ladha Surti and Yogesh Chanderkar. The characters get real lines, filled with wry and subtle humor. Unquestionably, Tabu gets some of the best dialogues and scenes, as the multi-layered star-wife Simi, who is trying to find her own way to stardom. In a recent interview, Tabu spoke about her 10 best-performances till date and this one is easily the eleventh one on the list. She gets to display a variety of emotions from a manipulative wife to a heart-broken victim of her circumstances. The writers do not let her layers come off easily, making her the fire-cracking mystery throughout the movie. Every time you think you have figured her out, she does something whacky in the next scene. Oh boy, only an actor of Tabu’s caliber can pull this role off. She is brilliant!

Matching her strong performance is Ayushmann Khurrana, as a blind pianist present at the wrong place at the wrong time. He keeps his ‘blind-act’ understated and displays the vulnerabilities of a visually challenged man with aplomb. His scenes with Simi are pure fun, especially the one where Simi visits him at his home. Also, whether he is blind or not (which is evidently questioned in the trailer as well), is a device the writers cleverly use multiple times to take the story forward and add humor to it. Manav Vij as Inspector Mahendra is funny as the super cop scared of his overbearing wife, played by Ashwini Kalshekar in a small, yet hilarious role. Radhika Apte gets a less meaty role, but thankfully gets rid of her meme-worthy worried and forlorn look. She is chirpy and adds to the chaos. The casting director deserves due credits for picking up the rest of the actors who fit the bill perfectly in their respective characters. Also, Amit Trivedi’s music is praiseworthy for adding to the drama and thrills. He extensively uses chords and piano, sometimes become a bit too long, but delivers musical pieces according to the mood of the scene. After Manmarziyaan, another well composed soundtrack by him.

The movie is not completely without flaws. While it keeps you invested, the pace could have been a bit faster. The choice of using long shots and a few long-drawn sequences could have resulted in the movie seem a little taxing, especially in the first half. Thankfully, the second half sees a much faster and twists-filled narrative, that pulls you back into the game.

Like most movies of its genre, Andhadhun may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But the dry humor, engaging screenplay, superlative performances and a delightful Tabu deserve your two hours this weekend!

My Rating – 3.5/5 | Grade - B+ (A Perefect Weekend Pick!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Anurag Rao (@The Filmy Basti!)

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Tabu Joins the Cast of Bharat starring Salman Khan!

Last week we reported that Disha Patani joined the cast of Salman Khan starrer Bharat, but now, we're hearing reports that veteran actress Tabu is joining the cast. Director Ali Abbas Zafar has been a fan of the actress and has been keen on working with the actor.

Details of Tabu’s character have been kept under the wraps but we hear that the national award winning actress essays an important role in this period drama. Delighted about welcoming Tabu to the cast, Ali Abbas Zafar said, “I’ve been a huge fan of Tabu’s work and always wished to work with her. After several meetings with her, I’m happy it is finally happening with Bharat and am looking forward to the shoot.”

Director Ali Abbas Zafar also took to social media to welcome Tabu saying, “Finally it’s happening, so excited to work with you, lots of love @tublb @Bharat_TheFilm @BeingSalmanKhan @priyankachopra @DishPatani @WhoSunilGrover”.

A Movie News Report by Team JFMF | Website's Twitter Handle - @JustMovieFreaks

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Haider - Spoiler Movie Review

Verdict - "Enthralling and unsettling. Haider is probably the best movie of 2014".

Walking into this movie, I was completely open minded. I knew nothing about the synopsis of the movie, never watched the trailers nor any of the song previews and judging by the marketing of the movie and the fact that it's going head to head with Bang Bang, I did have a negative notion about the movie. So I was sitting in the theatre, completely with no expectations and by the end of the movie I'm pretty glad about myself for keeping it that way.

Now! I do have numerous reasons about why I loved this movie, but I want to explain them to you in a detailed way. So I settled to go with a semi-spoiler movie review without concentrating much about the plot.

Adapted and inspired by many external sources, Vishal Bharadwaj and Basharat Peer's comprehensive writing and the unnerving facet of the movie was completely mentioning.

That uncertainty factor is always surrounded throughout the narrative part of the movie, you're sitting there hoping it to be good, waiting for something happen and the amazing part is that it keeps you thinking. You rather know where the movie is going but you can't really point out the direction it takes.

Let me get into detail about the "uncertainty" factor in the movie. As actress Tabu said, the mother and son relationship between Haider and Ghazala was totally odd and distinctive. You just can't describe the relationship between the two of them in particular, it always baffles around love, hate, care and assisted in boosting up the characters very well by keeping the befuddling factor alive.

Also the climax of the movie, not only it is one of the best I've seen in a while, it left me with a harrowing stain inside my brain, where I stopped sat down about ten-twenty minutes with a damp feeling that agitated me for a bit. And I like when movies which elevate me to that level of significance.

The other diverse part that blended well with the movie was the humour and I'm quite surprised about how well they executed it. I agree with the fact that fitting in humour in this type of genre was a tough task. It should be intelligent and sharp to pop out instantly. The movie implemented it properly, it never sounded like a throw away line to dislike.

Since it's also based on many true events happened in Kashmir back in the day, this movie was brutal, mainly the climax, it was pretty unsettling because you're extracted into this nefarious atmosphere and it was pretty uneasy to see every character die in the movie.

Coming back to the direction of the movie, this is probably the best I've seen in a while, he never traversed the boundaries of the movie and that really helped the authenticity in the movie. And also the dialogues in the movie are completely unusual, they're facile, whimsical and totally profound.

Regarding the technical aspects of the movie, Pankaj Kumar's exquisite cinematography was astonishing, mainly the graveyard scene in the acme and the wide angle shots used in Bismil song were dazzling to gaze at. Capturing the theme of the movie was a pretty tough task to exhibit and Kumar did a decent job in maintaining it well.

This movie was totally a reconciliation to Shahid's career, his high intensity, emotive responses and the livid persona was mind-boggling. Mostly his scenes with Tabu (who also gave an exceptional performance) were the best out of the bunch. The peculiar chemistry worked out pretty well between them and I confidently say that he deserves an applause for his performance.

Nevertheless, I may have few tiny complaints about the length of the movie or the unhurried first half of the movie. But I do concede that the movie is a slow burn, it only gets better sequentially. I do quote this as "The best movie of the year" because it worked in all departments depicted and also paid a well deserved homage to all it's orginal sources. If you buoy up for an atypical movie, Haider might be the perfect one.

My Rating - 4/5
Grade - A (The best one around!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Jai Ho – Movie Review

Verdict – “Jai Ho is contemplative, but tedious in it's approach and composition”.

I'm surprised when Jai Ho kicked off with a groovy EDM song, believed that it would be a surprising cliche-less entertainer. But that's just me assuming something that would never happen. Thank you Salman Khan.

Thinking far too beyond, there is nothing inside to enlighten the plot. It's just Salman portraying his normal Being Human character who emerges with a noble idea, which was only effective on paper. Everything beyond this minimal initiative was just a mixture of commercial elements which includes Salman's throbbing roars and massive punches.

Talk about an obtuse witless screenplay, Jai Ho is a perfect example. Enormously layered with repetitive cliched scenes dealt with a social message, the story completely rushed with absolutely no development in it's approach which didn't really intrigue me even when it's playing safe with melodramatic ingredients in the first half.

Taking an immense turn with the introduction of an under developed villain, things started to make no sense whatsoever which ultimately leaves everything to Salman being the only hope for the humanity.

Considered as a movie for the masses, Jai Ho was even a huge mess when it tries to be commercial, over-the-top dumb action sequences, unamusing humour and impervious emotion was not pretty easy to take in.

Well shot with an impressive gorgeous canvas at times, the cinematography was tremendously outdated with it's retro zoom-in and zoom-out approach which is obviously terrible to look at.

Debutant Daisy Shah was decent with her performance, her character was hardly there for 20 mins in the movie similar to the other supporting actors namely Tabu, Danny Denzongpa, Pulkit Samrat and Sana Khan. The centre lead Salman Khan was not surprising for the most part, his terrible expressions during the action sequences and not so emotive appearance during the sentimental scenes are completely flat and was definitely a let down.

Nevertheless, Jai Ho tries to be a game changer with a strong social message, but was hugely misleaded with it's dreary screenplay and in-your-face commercial elements. It's definitely far away from being another blockbuster remake, but may entertain Salman's fans who don't really care about watching a well made movie. If you're not a supporter of the big guy decline it completely and save it for a rainy day rental.

My Rating - 2/5
Grade - C (Meh! Probably a rental)
-By Surya Komal aka KM

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