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A Flying ‘Butt’

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2016 at 12:42 PM

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Oh man, I wonder if this movie was as cringeworthy to make, as it is to watch. I mean, they literally copied a scene from X-Men (as if we wouldn’t notice, right). Shamelessly capitalizing on Nathan Jones’ fame from Mad Max: Fury Road while looking for an excuse to make the actor show off his karate/jujitsu/flying monkey/crouching tiger hidden dragon levels of Kung Fu and dance. I’m so traumatized I cannot even say his name. Tige.. Ti.. See? Shoddy VFX and even shoddier writing (I mean, I wasn’t expecting Seabiscuit, but come on!) This movie represents everything wrong with Bollywood today. Note to self: Never get excited for a movie till you actually see it and you are satisfied the popcorn didn’t give you food poisoning (or gas).

As I sat in my middle row seat alone, an old man sitting next to me asked me, are you here alone? I said that I was. Seeing him all alone as well, I asked him was he in the same boat? To which wise old Gandalf the Grey said yes, and then he dropped a truth bomb, he said, I don’t know why anyone else would watch this movie, unless they didn’t have anything else to do. Spot on, uncleji. Spot on.

A Flying Jatt (shouldn’t there be a “The” in there? Is it A Superman or The?) is a movie that sounds good on paper. In fact, I can imagine the conversation the director must have had with the writer:

D: So, what do you have?

W: Sir, yeh superhero film hain, (name withheld due to copyright), ispe banate hain. (Sir, this is a superhero film, let’s do something like it.).

D: Do din main script warna naya kaam dhund lo (Script in two days or find a new job).

W: Okay, sir.

#FML.

Plot holes, bro. Plot holes the size of a black hole. Plot holes galore! Where do I begin? The story here is non-existent, the only aim being showcasing the actors ability to dance and spin nun chucks. Ugh. There are entire scenes in here, lifted directly off our friends halfway across the world.

Don’t get me wrong, Hollywood is no better, but at least they’re trying to kill beloved franchises by trying to reboot them (looking at you Columbia, you just had to kill Ghostbusters, didn’t you?)

But here? It’s like we’re not even trying. Everyone knows Tiger Shroff can “Move like a dream” (direct quote off someone I know, so thank you) but what we have wanted to know for the past three movies is, can he act? Nope. Not with the projects he is taking on. Dude, you need to take something challenging. Act. Everyone knows you are like this Shaolin Master who can punch me so bad I end up eating out of a straw (Try, but your Shaolin Fist is no match for my Lazy Hippo) but we want to see you play with your weakness, not play to your strengths. Try picking up projects more carefully next time, bro.

Someone saw Mad Max: Fury Road and decided that Nathan Jones would make a good villain (dressed like Bane from TDKR). They forgot one very important thing though. There’s a reason why Jones is depicted in every scene where he lets his machine gun do the talking. See, this is my main problem with this movie. Everyone is miscast. Like, literally everyone. Jones does his bit, fails. And what is up with KK Menon’s tie? Did they think it looked cool? It was made of plastic. (I wish I was kidding here). Jacqueline Fernandez looks cool, but has little else to do.

Again, so many plot holes. No one expects a high and mighty script, but come on. And the scenes are directly lifted! The worst part came, not from the movie but from a bunch of sixteen year olds who were laughing at the movie because it was so bad. This movie may very well end being played at those festivals that only screen “good” bad movies (movies that are so bad they are good). Give this one a pass, unless you have absolutely nothing better to do. (like, live your life or something)

Oh, you’re still here? What, perhaps you’re expecting me to apologize for my beat pe booty video? Well, not happening. That whole thirty or so second video had more story than the first half of A Flying Jatt. Besides, we all look fly in it, so let us have this. Think of it as recompense for this review.

See you next Friday with the low-down. This is your boy, your servant, your film wine taster Vedant, signing off.

West Side!

Run Happy, Run!

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2016 at 11:43 AM

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Happy likes to run. She’s not an athlete. She just likes to run. She ends up in Pakistan as a result of her “hobby”. [*]

Happy Bhag Jayegi is a simple film, with a simple message. That message is nothing. Hold on, the message here is, if there is one, have fun. You’re in a theatre to relax, so relax. Forget the facts, the border clashes and the quagmire that is Kashmir. In fact, leave your beliefs out the window and just go watch a film that is what a film should be, a stress buster.

Happy (Diana Penty, aka Punjabi Kudi) lives life to the fullest. In fact, Happy is so happy that she leaves her fiancée, Bagga (Jimmy Shergill, aka Tera Bhai) for Tun-Tuna maestro Guddu (Ali Faizal, aka Dil-Jala Ashiq) by jumping from a window into a flower truck waiting to whisk her away to his loving embrace. In her happiness, she lands onto a truck bearing gifts (fruits, mangoes from Ratnagiri, basically the greatest hits of the Indian fruit scene) to Pakistan (haw!). The truck’s end destination is Bilal Khan (Abhay Deol, aka Jinnah 2.0, but less lying and more friendly), a rising politician who would rather play cricket. Who wouldn’t?

IF you think you know where the plot is headed, no cookies for you because the movie knows it too. What it wants from you is attention, what it promises (like a certain someone in 1947) is a few laughs. What is delivers is a lot of laughs. Moving from one set piece to the next and crossing more borders than a Dan Brown novel, it delivers humor in spades! Everything from the writing, to the dialogue, to the nuances of the characters is aimed at making sure you laugh.

Piyush Mishra excels at doing what my college professor failed at; he gives you a KG level crash course in Urdu. (respect for calling ‘music’, ‘mausiki’ and ‘siesta’ is ‘kailulla’) I feel bad for Jimmy Shergill, like really bad. Every movie he is in these days, guy gets left on the altar (no worries, Jimbo. You and I are in the same boat) but he makes sure you laugh at his misery. He is a bro in the movie, no seriously, he calls everyone he meets for two minutes bhai and refers to himself as ‘tera bhai’. If I’m ever in Amritsar and need someone to bail me out, I’m calling mera bhai, okay?

You know how in chess, you can play certain moves exclusively on a particular piece? Like, you cannot under utilize, say your rook by making it move like a pawn. This is Abhay Deol’s dilemma. He is a Rook being made to move at a pawn’s pace. But like the Rook, he slays everything in his path, while moving one square at a time. The movie rests on his shoulders, but the focus is on Diana Penty. By putting the focus on her, Abhay doesn’t get time to really fly-fly-fly. A little more should have been put onto his plate. It would have also given Momal Sheik’s character (Zoya aka Bilal’s Old Lady) a platform to sound off on. This lack of characterization makes her feel a little restrained. However, in the space that they have, they shine and their chemistry is like a promise of spring that never really comes to fruition.

Rustom and Mohenjodaro were duds and the audience has been clamoring (without them knowing they need it. It’s like Batman. You never really need him, but you’re happy if he’s around) for a palette cleanser to get rid of their clammy embrace. Happy Bhag Jaygei is that palette cleanser. Go watch it, laugh and have a good time. And before our senses were jaded by too much content, isn’t that what films were all about? Abhay Deol is firmly back and I’m desperately waiting for the Dev-D sequel (in SPAAACE!)

Like the say at MI6; welcome back, Mr. Deol. You’ve been missed.

 

[*] All the views in this review are mine. Any and all disputes will be settled by the time honoured tradition of a duel at high noon. Sword or pistol, the choice is the challengers’.

Mohenjo DarOH..

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2016 at 11:41 AM

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Oh, hey didn’t see you there. Oh what’s in my hand you ask? Why it’s bhel puri, of course. Oh you mean that paper I’m eating it on? That, amigo is my Masters degree in Archaeology. Because after seeing Mohenjo Daro, that is exactly what it is worth. Don’t get me wrong, Ashutosh Gowariker is a brilliant director and I cried like a baby when Captain Russell got what was coming to him. I felt like Akbar as I watched Jodhaa Akbar in silk pyjamas drowning in attar. Never in a million years would I have thought Mr. G could come up with this.[1]

So. My first question in the labyrinth of questions that is Mohenjo Daro is this; Mohenjo Daro means “Mound of the Dead Men”. It was named so in 1922. Why would the people of 2016 B.C. (Ah, I see what Mr. G did there, umm.. brilliant?)call it that? And that folks, is my degree at work. Now that I have harped on about my degree, let’s get down the meat and bones.

 

Mr. G gets scale. Let it be known. If anyone today has the sensibility to shoot an epic, it is this guy! The set design is brilliant and costumes really nail down the aesthetics of different civilizations (twirly beards for the Sumerians, Funky Egyptian animal caps for the Egyptians, the mongoloid peoples look like 12th Century Mongols though, trust me, I’m an expert. I have a degree in this.. I’m doing it again, aren’t I?). But sets and dresses make not a watchable film, my friend. It’s like cereal. If you don’t have crunchy, fluffy chocolatey bits to munch on, you’re just drinking a bowl of milk. Man, I’m hungry. Time to ask my non existent intern to get me a double shot, skimmed milk, soy latte with a flowery arrangement on top. And that guy better not mess it up.

 

Look, I get it. It is difficult making an epic film and there’s a very thin line between a Gladiator and the madness that was Apocalypse Now. Mohenjo Daro toes that line and doesn’t stop. No matter how hard the actors try to steer it, like the Hindenburg, it was destined to fail. It could have been an epic, it could have even been an epic love story, God knows we need those. What it does is something else entirely and by the end, Hrithik Roshan becomes less like an average Joe wooing his lady love and becomes pseudo Moses leading his people across a land in search for a new home.

 

Hritik Roshan (let’s call him Golden boy, because damn son, the dude looks like Alexander the Great!) shines in whatever scene he is in and does not disappoint. Dude calms the first horses brought into India and doing so wins the attention of Pooja Hegde, who looks stunning as a princess but does little else than look pretty. Kabir Bedi plays the villainous patriarch of Mohenjo Daro who wants to wage war on Harappa because he was apmaanofied in a bhari sabha, but unlike Chanakya fails spectacularly because plot armor. His son looks like your typical “tu jaanta hain mera baap kaun hai” guy and that guy needs to cover up his legs man, he’s making me feel fatter than I am. Where’s that latte?!

 

One thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is the CGI. Did they get artists from the 90s? Because the CGI looks, sorry to say, pathetic.

 

This week, both films have been lackluster. Don’t waster your time on this. Save your hard earned money for a proper history textbook.

[1]  All the views in this review are mine. If you like it, by all means indulge. But it’s not for me, bro. Any and all disputes will be settled by the time-honored tradition of a duel at high noon. Sword or pistol, the choice is the challengers’.

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