Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Hate Luv Storys - Music Review

Read more! Cast :: Imran Khan & Sonam Kapoor

Vishal-Shekhar’s I Hate Love Stories had been a long expected album. And guess?, they have done it. Bin tere, I hate Love stories, and Sadka kiya, I’m loving it.

No wonder this is a film by Karan Johar, who can write reams and reams on love. But this time it’s different. Though the banner is old, the director of I Hate Luv Storys is new. Following the footsteps of Karan is the young director Punit Malhotra and the onus to deliver musical hits in this bittersweet love story is on composer duo Vishal-Shekhar.

So the music of the film is bound to be under the scanner not only because of its banner and contemporary love tale but also because of the newfound chemistry between Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor which is already a hit among the youngsters. With a fresh pair and dream-like locales, the film ‘I Hate Luv Storys’ promises a gamut of melodious songs.

The album starts with Jab Mila tu, which is quite like Dostana’s Jaane Kyun. That way, the song cannot be called very fresh but sounds fine, and will be stuck to our tongues the way Jaane kyun did.

The second song of the album is one of the best, or probably the best, Bin Tere (how many songs are called Bin tere, any idea?). Well, the song, sung by Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan and Sunidhi Chauhan is a wonderful piece of music and definitely worth a listen. Go for it.

The third song of the album is a peppy title song, bas pyaar ka naam na lena, I hate love stories, sung by Vishal Dadlani. Very, very tongue sticking,though I don’t think it’s one for longer times.

Bahara is the next song of the album. The song came as a surprise to me as I had not expected Sona Mahapatra in a Vishal-Shekhar album. I wonder if she has ever worked with the duo. Well, Sona is not the only singer in the song, in fact she is more in the background while the song is actually sung by Shreya Ghoshal. A medium-fast-paced song with a touch of folk. Definitely a good one again.

They had one king of rock with them. But they brought in another one. Yes, Vishal Shekhar call in Suraj Jagan for their next number Sadka Kiya, with Mahalaxmi Iyer. Frankly, Sadka is probably the song I have loved the most till date and the more I am listening to it, the more I am falling into the song. A song that keeps itself light, has beats something like Falak tak (Tashan), with Suraj going high in places, in a way that you would love. The best part, on top of the wonderful music and singing, there are those great lyrics, sadka kiya yoon ishq ka, ke sar jhuka jahan, deedar hua.

If this was not enough, here is more in remixes, no, reprises and mixes and remixes. The first to come up is Shekhar with a reprise of Bin Tere. Now there’s only a guitar and Shekhar’s voice. A real reprise, with hardly any background music. One of the toughest and the best things Shekhar has done. Kudos boy.

Now, a chill mix, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan singing what Shreya and Sona sang earlier. Definitely good work by Rahat and worth listening to song, but I think I have fallen for the original version already.

At the end there is a remix version of Bin Tere, which doesn’t sound bad.

Overall, I Hate Luv Storys seems to be a soundtrack which is better than plain good. A few songs may remind you of things here and there, but overall, almost every song of the album is good, which is a big deal. Well done Vishal-Shekhar.

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01 - I Hate Luv Storys - Jab Mila Tu@review-of-movies.blogspot.com

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kites - Movie Review

Read more! Cast :: Hrithik Roshan, Kangna Ranaut, Barbara Mori, Kabir Bedi, Nick Brown, Yuri Suri

Hrithik Roshan treads the crooked path in the by-lanes of Las Vegas. He has married umpteen girls for the coveted green card and Barbara Mori happens to be one of his abandoned wives. But sparks fly between the two when they meet again, this time under different -- and dangerous -- circumstances. The mercenary couple are all set to marry a rich brother-sister duo (Kangana and Nick Brown) for their money but they soon discover they are in love and flee the rich and powerful siblings who are hell bent on avenging their dishonour. Will love surmount all odds?

Where's the chemistry? Where's the story? And where's the twist in the tale? Kites could have been that cross-over film that Bollywood has been dreaming about since long. Sadly, it flounders even before it can take off and soar....

So what's holding it down? First and foremost, the film completely lacks a story and unfolds as an unabashed chase film. Nothing wrong with that, for we have had a number of road movies that have thrilled and chilled us. But for that, there has always been a twist in the tale to provide an edgy feel to the film. Kites, on the other hand, does have Hrithik and Barbara spending the second half of the film as fugitives on the run, but their journey is so predictable, it fills you with a yawn. If the first half is a non-happening prolonged romance that unfolds in stares, glances, looks followed by some more stares, glances and looks between our protagonists (Hrithik and Barbara) as they try and seek out covert moments of togetherness in the palatial house of their respective bethrotheds (Kangana and Nick), the second half is a hit and run case which sees the fugitives hoping to make out 'neath the shadow of the gun. Both Barbara and Hrithik decide to give up their get-rich-quick plans and opt for penniless love instead, even though they know they will be pursued till the end of the world by the ditched brother-sister duo.

But hey, do they make out? Not really, unless you call Barbara yakking relentlessly in Spanish or Hrithik stitching up her arm beneath the rocks as romantic. Which brings us to the chemistry bit....Quite unlike the pre-release claims, the Mexican-Indian mix isn't exactly red hot chilli pepper stuff. Their romance hardly sizzles, with Mori spending most of her time flashing toothy grins and Hrithik failing to match up to his hot-hot bonding with Aishwarya Rai in Dhoom 2. Even the waterfall sequence in the jungle ends up as ekdum thanda!

It's the look of the film which carries it forward. Director Anurag Basu may have dipped in the emotional quotient of the film but he does create a visual feel and texture that has an international feel to it. The cinematography by Ayananka Bose has a grand texture and creates compelling montages, specially in the rain-drenched climax sequence. Performance-wise, the lead actors are just adequate and do not exactly set the screen ablaze, neither with their emotions nor with their passion. One almost feels sorry for Kangana, a fine actor who is reduced to a speechless accessory that is left to do what Hrithik and Barbara do -- stare, glance, look as the woman scorned -- for the short span that she's on. The audio track by Rajesh Roshan doesn't linger too, because the film mostly has a loud, repetitive background score by Salim-Suleiman interspersed with maybe just one forgettable number.

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01 - Kites (2010) - Zindagi Do Pal Ki@review-of-movies.blogspot.com
02 - Kites (2010) - Dil Kyun Yeh Mera@review-of-movies.blogspot.com
03 - Kites (2010) - Tum Bhi Ho Wahi@review-of-movies.blogspot.com
04 - Kites (2010) - Kites In The Sky@review-of-movies.blogspot.com
05 - Kites (2010) - Fire@review-of-movies.blogspot.com
06 - Kites (2010) - Zindagi Do Pal Ki (Remix)@review-of-movies.blogspot.com
07 - Kites (2010) - Dil Kyun Yeh Mera (Remix)@review-of-movies.blogspot.com
08 - Kites (2010) - Tum Bhi Ho Wahi (Remix)@review-of-movies.blogspot.com
09 - Kites (2010) - Fire (English Version)@review-of-movies.blogspot.com

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Raajneeti - Music Review

Read more! Cast :: Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgan, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Manoj Bajpai,Naseeruddin Shah, Arjun Rampal

Quite opposite to once expectations and Prakash Jha’s image, Raajneeti seems to be a full fledged musical once you read the names of composers and singers on the cover of this album. And most of them succeed in doing it to quite an extent. Yes, Raajneeti has it’s fare share of good music.

Raajneeti is genuinely one of the most eagerly awaited movies of the year (unlike over-hyped and over-rated trash such as the recent “Housefull”). With a director like Prakash Jha at the helm who has a strong pedigree in this genre and a stellar cast (including the director’s favourite Ajay Devgan and Nana Patekar) to befit several movies let alone one, Raajneeti is expected to portray the reality of politics in a way that has never been seen before. But what about the music? Apart from the background score (by Wayne Sharpe) which will be important, can the songs promote or add any value to such a movie? Based on Prakash Jha’s previous films the answer must be a resounding no and this theory is further compelled by the late arrival of this soundtrack (the movie is released in a few weeks!) but regardless of expectations.

The album starts with Bheegi si, bhaagi si, which is a peppy, foot-tapping, Pritam type song sung by Mohit Chauhan with a relatively very new Antara Mitra who sounds something like Shreya Ghoshal. A good one to say the least. Catchy. Not long term, but not bad certainly.

Next comes Aadesh Srivastava’s already hit composition Mora Piya mose bolat naahi. The song is definitely good, but the first complete line in the song comes after almost one and a half minutes into the song, so we definitely have a slow start at the song. Still, the song is worth listening to. Kudos to Aadesh for creating and then singing the awesome song too.

Ishq Barse is a pure item song by Shantanu Moitra who I don’t remember creating any such song before. Still, the favorite of VVC and Shyam Benegal makes this one quite fine and the Indian-rap sung by Hamsika Iyer is something worth listening to. The atkan-matkan-pigeonwa you know. Between, the song has something called a Bombay Bounce mix too, not that I got to know the difference I heard it the first time.

Dhan Dhan Dharti re, or Vande Mataram song as they are calling it, is the watch-it thing of the album. Sung by Shankar Mahadevan, and by Sonu Nigam in another version called ‘Call of the Soil’ (apne desh ki mitti ki khushboo?), the song is a poetic-patriotic feat by Gulzar and American composer Wayne Sharpe creates good enough surroundings with his Indian-Western fusion. I wonder if Rahman was asking for more money and so Prakash Jha went to an American composer for a version of Vande Mataram, but then, whatever be his reasons, the composer does his work darn good and I’m in love with this song. Read more about the song on the separate post below.

So the songs are over, but then there is a surprise. The surprise is that we have one more version of Mora Piya. This one is a Trance Mix, sung by our very own Kavita Seth. No, we don’t get her in a regular version (Does Aadesh Srivastava feel insecure??) but her voice is welcome in any version and she does the best she can in her limits.

In short, Raajneeti is worth a try, and actually worth a buy album. Prakash Jha seems to have been doing more than making just a good film this time, with some great pairings, oh-my-mouth-was-open trailers and some not-baaaad music. I just hope the movie is still as good as I hope it to be. For now, the music is above expectations, to say the least.

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01 - Bheegi Si Bhaagi Si@review-of-movies.blogspot.com
02 - Mora Piya@review-of-movies.blogspot.com
03 - Ishq Barse@review-of-movies.blogspot.com
04 - Dhan Dhan Dharti@review-of-movies.blogspot.com
05 - Mora Piya Mo Se Bolat Naahin (Trance Mix)@review-of-movies.blogspot.com
06 - Ishq Barse (The Bombay Bounce Club Mix)@review-of-movies.blogspot.com
07 - Mora Piya (Twilight Mix)@review-of-movies.blogspot.com
08 - Dhan Dhan Dharti Reprise (Call Of The Soil)@review-of-movies.blogspot.com

Friday, May 7, 2010

Badmaash Company - Movie Review

Read more! Cast :: Shahid Kapoor , Anushka Sharma , Meiyang Chang and Vir Das

Actor turned debutante director Parmeet Sethi made a startling confession on my show, a few days ago. He said, he had completed the entire script, with dialogue, in six days flat. I was apprehensive initially, but not once does BADMAASH COMPANY give you the feeling that it's a hurried job or the debutante writer-director, in a bid to start his first film, had left blanks incomplete.

The earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. The adage holds true for the youth of today, who wish to attain the riches overnight and take an easy route/shortcut to climb the ladder of success. Just when you start thinking that you've conquered it all, that you're God, a stroke of bad luck brings you back to Ground Zero, to experience the harsh realities of life.

Parmeet walks the tight rope of handling a complex subject and offering entertainment simultaneously, in his very first film. To his credit, the film has several poignant and enjoyable moments that catch you by complete surprise. While the film has it all -- the writing has the power to keep the viewer hooked -- the film has a handicap in the form of its second hour, especially the penultimate 25-odd minutes.

Let me specify! With a running time of approx. 2.30 hours, the extra footage in the end -- Shahid and friends trying to salvage his uncle's business -- only adds to the length of the enterprise. Ideally, the film should've ended when the friends forgive each other and shake hands, after a series of personal and professional setbacks.

Final word? BADMAASH COMPANY is a decent attempt, with several captivating moments and power-packed performances by each and every member of its cast. We often grudge that entertainment-laden films make no sense these days, but this one entertains and also makes sense. Watch it!

BADMAASH COMPANY is set in the 1990s in middle class Mumbai, of four ordinary youngsters [Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Meiyang Chang and Vir Das], who came together to start an import business of things longed for by yuppie Indians. What made their venture such a stupendous success was the fact that they found a way to beat the system and soon became the undisputed kings in their business, realizing their one dream of making quick money is by doing all the wrong things the right way.

Living the life of champagne wishes and caviar dreams, the four friends discover that to make a business successful, you don't need big money. All you need is a big idea. All is well and hunky dory till one day the four maverick entrepreneurs are forced to shut shop.

The best thing about BADMAASH COMPANY is that you identify with the mindset of those who aspire to reach the pinnacle of success using shortcuts. The scams and the con games the youth indulge in are easy to decipher and least complicated, which works in its favour. Another strong point is the camaraderie that the four actors share on screen. The film would've fallen flat if the chemistry was missing, but the bonding looks so real that you forget that they are merely enacting those roles.

BADMAASH COMPANY has some terrific moments. The sequences in Bangkok are enjoyable. Ditto for the showdown between the friends in the post-interval hour. The transformation in Shahid's persona is also beautifully depicted.

Pritam's music is foot-tapping and almost every song has been filmed very well. Sanjay Kapoor's cinematography is just right.

Every actor puts his best foot forward in BADMAASH COMPANY. Shahid gets it right yet again. It wouldn't be erroneous to say that this is amongst his finest works. Watch him blow his lid in the restaurant sequence and also in another sequence, when he meets a pregnant Anushka. He is confidence personified in those sequences.

Anushka is a revelation. She looks stunning, her performance is livewire and the chemistry with Shahid is electrifying. Strangely, she took a backseat after her debut in RAB NE BANADI JODI, but BADMAASH COMPANY will bring her back in public eye. Vir Das is another surprise. He's in terrific form here. The film marks the 'birth' of another talent -- Meiyang Chang -- who adds a lot of freshness and zing to his character. Anupam Kher is wonderful. Kiran Juneja makes her presence felt. Pawan Malhotra is extremely likeable.

On the whole, BADMAASH COMPANY is a watchable experience for various reasons, the prime reason being it offers solid entertainment, but doesn't insult your intelligence. Recommended!

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