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Buddha Mar Gaya


Rahul Rawail goes all out this time. His new endeavor touches almost every topic under the sun -- from extra-marital affairs to gay relationships to incest to 'corpse selling'... Most importantly, it mirrors a sad reality: Money is the be-all and end-all.

BUDDHA MAR GAYA is aimed at the masses, those who swear by nonsensical entertainers. It's not for the faint-hearted. You ought to have a strong stomach to absorb a film like BUDDHA MAR GAYA since it shocks you at regular intervals. It's not for those with an appetite for meaningful cinema or for critics, who run down masala/mass appealing films since it's fashionable to do so.

Be forewarned, if you're ready for shocks, BUDDHA MAR GAYA is just for you!

Laxmikant Kabadiya aka LK [Anupam Kher] is one of India's richest industrialists, a self-made man. His conglomerate is on the verge of a 5000 crore IPO that should make them one of the largest companies in the country. LK's family comprising of his spinster twin sister [Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal], his two sons Ranjeet [Bobby Parvez] and Sameer [Mukesh Tiwari], their wives Shruti [Mannat Kaur] and Anju [Mona Ambegaonkar], respectively, Ranjeet's daughters Sanjana [Heenaa Biswas] and Namrata [Madhvi Singh] and Sameer's son Pawan [Jay Soni] can't stop salivating at the thought of all that money.

 Unfortunately for all of them, fate displays a wicked sense of humor. On the night before the IPO opens, LK dies while copulating with a starlet [Raakhi Sawant], who's aspiring to become the heroine of a film that LK plans to produce. The family is distraught and horrified. Not because a loved one has died, but because now no one will buy their shares. So, on the advice of their family guru Vidyut Baba [Om Puri], the family decides to hide the death of LK for a period of two days till the shares are all sold out.

Hiding the death of a man as famous as LK is a Herculean task. To make matters worse, every time they're ready to announce LK's death, fate intervenes, forcing them to keep his death hidden for another couple of days. Which results in them having to announce the death of a fictitious friend or relative of LK's. And stage fake funerals. Which, of course, means generating dead bodies and worse, getting the dead LK to make appearances at these funerals.

Complicating matters further are an inquisitive and greedy servant [Paresh Rawal], the Minister's fixer [Murli Sharma], a procurer of dead bodies [Ranveer Shorey], the paparazzi and for good measure a couple of cops. And of course internal jealousies, greed, rivalries within the family only add spice to the goings on.

 The tagline of BUDDHA MAR GAYA is, 'You will die laughing', and the film remains faithful to this statement at most times. Of course, you don't break into laughter in every scene, but the fact is that you cannot control your laughter on several occasions. Sure, you may find the brand of humor juvenile and a few jokes obscene, especially the Raakhi Sawant track, but the masses will simply love these portions. In fact, BUDDHA MAR GAYA is hot, steamy and spicy with tremendous shock-value.

Director Rahul Rawail steps into a new territory with BUDDHA MAR GAYA and as a storyteller, narrates an interesting plot successfully. Agreed, a film like BUDDHA MAR GAYA is not everybody's idea of entertainment, but Rawail knows his fundas right. He uses everything on the shelf to make a black comedy. Yet, it must be mentioned that the writing could've been tighter. The screenplay isn't too convincing at times, like the Murli Sharma track or the Manoj Joshi episode in the climax. The writing goes awry on these occasions.

Rawail's idea of using popular tracks in the background, like 'Beedi' [OMKARA], 'Cheeni Kum' [CHEENI KUM] and 'Chak De Phatte' [KHOSLA KA GHOSLA] add to the enjoyment. Dialogues [Anand Sivakumaran] are dipped in sarcasm at times and are saucy at places. However, a film like BUDDHA MAR GAYA signifies that the censors have become quite lenient these days, which is a welcome sign.

 BUDDHA MAR GAYA doesn't demand histrionics as such, but the ones who stand out are Om Puri [terrific], Mukesh Tiwari [able], Mona Ambegaonkar [competent], Bobby Parvez [nice], Jay Soni [confident] and Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal [fantastic].

Anupam Kher, the narrator and also the corpse, is very good. Paresh Rawal deserved better lines and situations. Rakhi Sawant is in top form. Ranveer Shorey is okay. Murli Sharma is efficient. Prem Chopra is perfect.

On the whole, BUDDHA MAR GAYA has terrific title-value, abundant shock-value and strong entertainment-value as factors going in its favor. At the box-office, this one's for the masses completely!

Producer
Rahul Rawail
Sunil Lulla


Director
Rahul Rawail


Star Cast
Paresh Rawal
Anupam Kher
Om Puri
Rakhi Sawant
Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal
Ranvir Shorey
Mukesh Tiwari
Murli Sharma
Mona Ambegaonkar
Mannat Kaur
Madhvi Singh
Heenaa Biswas
Jay Soni
Deepika Sharma
Jitender Bhargava
Bobby Parvez


Lyricist
Manoj Muntashir


Music Director
Bappi Lahiri


Background Music
Raju Rao
Ashish Manchanda


Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
Rohit Kumar


Cinematography
Suhass Gujarathi


Editor
Rahul Rawail


Screenplay
Anand Sivakumaran


Sound
T. E. Joel


Dialogue
Anand Sivakumaran


Hairstylist
Shobha


Publicity Designs
Chaitanya Sant
Mantra @ SDS


Story / Writer
Raju Saigal

Marigold: An Adventure in India

MARIGOLD, directed by American director Willard Carroll, is as off-putting as a week-old omelette. In fact, MARIGOLD has nothing to keep your eyeballs glued to the screen. An apology of a story, a powerless screenplay, shoddy visual effects, poor music and nightmarish direction, that's the ideal description of MARIGOLD. No redeeming aspects? Nothing, except for a pretty looking Ali Larter.

Seriously, what were the makers thinking when they okayed this amateurish piece of writing? Look at the kind of cinema being churned out in India today. Good, bad, whatever, it's better than MARIGOLD.

In a nutshell, MARIGOLD is a classic case of 'Bad Cinema'. This one deserves to be watched by every director for understanding what not to make. One big yawn!

MARIGOLD is about a young American woman who travels to India and finds that her life is transformed in the most unexpected ways by her experiences and adventures there.

American actress Marigold [Ali Larter] arrives in India with no luggage and a bad attitude. Stranded in Goa when financing for her low-budget Hollywood movie falls apart, Marigold finds herself cast in a small role in a Bollywood musical. Eager to prove herself, she enlists the aid of Prem [Salman Khan], the film's choreographer. Marigold is most definitely not a natural dancer, but she experiences renewed confidence and growing love for Prem. 

In rapid succession, Marigold discovers that Prem will be marrying a beautiful India girl Janvi [Nandana Sen]. Unable to deal with this development, Marigold angrily departs from Prem's family estate. But she is urged back by Janvi who confesses that Prem doesn't love her and never will.

Another complication arises in the form of Marigold's boyfriend, Barry [Ian Bohen], who arrives in India unexpectedly and finds Marigold very much in love with Prem.

MARIGOLD disappoints on Level 1 itself. The storyline brings back memories of the forgettable stuff that dominated Hindi cinema in the 1970s. Thanks to a poor plotline, what unravels in the next 2 hours is as spiceless as boiled food. There's not a single moment in the film that makes you jump with joy or pine for the lovers.

The writing is so inane and amateurish that you actually pinch yourself, Is this for real? Are you actually watching a film or watching a bad dream? That's applicable for Willard Carroll's direction as well. Without doubt, 'The Razzie' for 2007 should be awarded to Mr. Carroll. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music is of fast-forward quality. Anil Mehta's cinematography is alright, although the D.O.P. isn't in form here. The production design/sets are tacky. 

Salman Khan is terrible and so is his dialogue delivery. What were you saying in the movie, Mr. Khan? Were you chewing beetle nut? His lines are hardly audible. Also, he tries hard to ape the American accent, but falls flat. Ali Larter is as fresh as Marigold, the flower, not the movie. Her performance is quite interesting.

Vikas Bhalla is pure teakwood. So is Roopak Saluja -- absolutely wooden. Suchitra Pillai does well. Nandana Sen is unintentionally funny. Rakesh Bedi makes you laugh, for the right reasons. Vijayendra Ghatge and Kiran Juneja seemed to have walked out of the sets of DHARAM-VEER. And what was Gulshan Grover doing in this film? Ian Bohen adds to the list of non-actors.

On the whole, MARIGOLD is a terrible film with gloomy prospects. A sure-shot disaster!

Producer
Tom Wilhite
Charles Salmon


Director
Willard Carroll


Star Cast
Salman Khan...... Prem
Ali Larter...... Marigold Lexton
Nandana Sen...... Jaanvi
Helen
Suchitra Pillai
Ian Bohen...... Barry
Shari Watson...... Doreen
Vikas Bhalla
Vijayendra Ghatge
Kiran Juneja
Gulshan Grover
Rakesh Bedi...... Manoj
Roopak Saluja...... Mani
Marc Allen Lewis...... Marc
Lea Moreno Young...... Valjean
Nihar Pandya


Cassettes and CD's on
Big Music


Singers
Shaan
Vikas Bhalla
Alka Yagnik
Nikita Nigam
Sneha Pant
Nihira Joshi
Ali Larter
Truth Hurts


Lyricist
Javed Akhtar
Willard Carroll
Truth Hurts


Music Director
Shankar Mahadevan
Ehsaan Noorani
Loy Mendonca


Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
Pravin Nischal
Sidhartha M Jain
Reiko Bradley
Susan B. Landau


Cinematography
Anil Mehta


Choreography
Farah Khan
Remo
Vaibhavi Merchant


Editor
Anuradha Singh


Sound
Andrew Belletty


Costume
Rocky S

Publicity Designs
Rahul Nanda
Himanshu Nanda
HR Enterprises


Publicity Stills

Anil Mehta


Story / Writer
Willard Carroll


Chak De India

Yash Raj is not really known to venture into unconventional lanes, barring a KABUL EXPRESS in the recent past. CHAK DE INDIA isn't unconventional as such, but it's definitely different and awe inspiring at times. Frankly speaking, CHAK DE INDIA doesn't boast of a path-breaking script, but execution of the subject material succeeds in making you find purpose and meaning and also arouses patriotic sentiments.

There's a flip side as well. Sports-based themes, barring a few, haven't really found many takers in India, especially with the aam junta. For various reasons. Sure, hockey is the national sport of India, but cricket gets more prominence in our dailies and also on news channels. The common man also keeps tabs on the Tendulkars and Dravids, when compared to those belonging to other sports. CHAK DE INDIA is about hockey, about women's hockey to be precise, but most of us haven't given more importance to this thrilling sport for no particular reason.

Also, from the business point of view, CHAK DE INDIA may be an engrossing fare, but not the ideal flick for an entertainment-seeking viewer. At best, it may attract attention initially thanks to the star power and the Numero Uno production house promoting it aggressively. But that's about it!

Kabir Khan [Shah Rukh Khan] knows what it's like to come back from the dead. The ex Indian Captain has now come back in the avatar of the Coach of the Indian Women's National Hockey team. A team that exists more on paper and less in reality. 

The team is a bunch of girls with their own agenda. A bunch of girls who have forgotten what it is like to play for the love of the game. Of playing because you want glory for your country. Not because you want a pensioned job or a government flat. They have all forgotten the sharp thrill of just holding the hockey stick, keeping their eyes on the ball and playing for all they are worth. They have played every game but hockey to make sure they get selected every year in the Indian National team. But what does it really mean to play for the Indian National team? To play for India?

The girls have never known the thrilling energy of being Team India. Of giving their all to see their country's name on a trophy. But Kabir Khan, once a captain, now forgotten, does. He knows what it takes to get there. And what it means to return empty handed. This time, he wants to make sure that it's different. He knows there are no second chances. Despite his past, he believes that if only the girls played as one, anything would be possible.

Because Kabir Khan believes that it is not that we can't win. It's just that we have never believed we can.

CHAK DE INDIA is the story of a coach's fight of making his team, Team India by overcoming their diverse backgrounds, by learning to use everything that life hurls on them as a secret weapon.

The film has all the right elements mixed -- satirical comedy, seriousness and dollops of emotions. In fact, the first half is quite captivating and the expectations from the latter half are equally high. The post-interval portions don't disappoint, but the pace slackens and the goings-on take a long time to reach the finale. In fact, the narrative gathers steam only towards the climax, which is well handled. 

Shimit Amin's choice of the subject as also the execution deserves to be lauded. But, as mentioned at the outset, it's not a film that would find universal patronage. People giving it a Thumbs Up would be limited to those who are into qualitative cinema.

Cinematography is first-rate. Music is strictly okay. Dialogues are interesting. A few lines are indeed amazing. Editing could've been tighter.

SRK is the soul of CHAK DE INDIA. What you see on screen would be half of what it is without this matchless actor. He makes you feel what you are supposed to feel. A performance that's sure to go down as one of his finest works so far. The girls are excellent and a few of them register a strong impact, especially Vidya Malvade.

On the whole, CHAK DE INDIA is a well-made product, but its fate at the ticket window wouldn't be as glorious as its intentions. With a slow start at places and not too exciting promotion [the promos], the film will face an uphill task in days to come.

Producer
Aditya Chopra


Director
Shimit Amin


Star Cast
Shahrukh Khan...... Kabir Khan
Vidya Malvade...... Vidya Sharma
Anjan Srivastava
Javed Khan
Vibha Chibbar
Nakul Vaid
Sagarika Ghatge...... Preeti Sabarwal
Chitrashi Rawat...... Komal Chautala
Shilpa Shukla...... Bindia Naik
Tanya Abrol...... Balbir Kaur
Anaitha Nair...... Aliya Bose
Shubhi Mehta...... Gunjan Lakhani
Nisha Nair...... Soimoi Kerketa
Sandia Furtado...... Nethra Reddy
Arya Menon...... Gul Iqbal
Masochon V. Zimik...... Molly Zimik
Kimi Laldawla...... Mary Ralte
Kimberly Miranda
Nicola Sequeira
Raynia D'Souza
Mohit Chauhan
Joyoshree Arora
Vivaan Bhathena


Cassettes and CD's on
Yash Raj Music


Singers
Sukhwinder Singh
Salim Merchant
Marianne D'Cruz
Hema Sardesai
Shahrukh Khan
K K
Anushka Manchandani
Krishna
Midival Punditz


Lyricist
Jaideep Sahni


Music Director
Salim Merchant
Sulaiman Merchant


Background Music
Salim Merchant
Sulaiman Merchant


Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
Aashish Singh


Cinematography
Sudeep Chatterjee


Choreography
Ganesh Acharya


Action
Rob Miller


Art
Sukant Panigrahy


Editor
Amitabh Shukla


Screenplay
Jaideep Sahni


Sound
Manas Chaudhary
Ali Merchant


Dialogue
Jaideep Sahni


Costume
Shiraz Siddiqui
Mandira Shukla


Publicity Designs
Fayyaz Badruddin
Yash Raj Films Design Cell


Story / Writer
Jaideep Sahni


Line Producer
Padam Bhushan

Kaafila

Some get arrested, some get killed, some end up at the wrong place, some go missing, some eventually make it. KAAFILA, directed by Amitoj Maan, bares this issue on celluloid, besides clubbing a real-life, shocking incident [Malta Boat Tragedy] with the main plotline.

In KAAFILA, the story begins in Delhi, moves to Russia, then the surrounding nations, then Afghanistan and finally, Pakistan, before returning to India once again. Besides presenting the stunning landscapes, KAAFILA also looks at the various hardships people encounter when they decide to enter England unlawfully.

Not wanting to turn it into a dry, grim and disturbing movie, Amitoj Maan packs in songs and glamour to strike the right balance between enlightenment and entertainment. And that's where KAAFILA falters.

The portions depicting reality are watchable since the issue hasn't been highlighted in detail on the Hindi screen. But the romantic track [Sunny - Polina and Amitoj - Monalisa] stands out like a sore thumb. Also, the narrative tends to get lengthy in the second hour as the kaafila moves aimlessly from one country to another. A shorter duration would've only helped.

To sum up, KAAFILA is watchable in parts. The issue it highlights is its USP, but the writing as well as the length could've been controlled. 

KAAFILA is about a group of people, not remotely associated/connected with each other, opting to leave their motherland in search of their utopian dreams of a better life abroad in the developed countries. These people put their careers, families and even lives at stake to reach their desired destinations even when they can be better off in their own countries without all the hardships and sufferings.

KAAFILA also exposes how innocent people are duped by a worldwide nexus of agents showing them dreams of a comfortable life, close to heaven, in foreign lands and making them sell their lands, homes and livelihoods here in a futile pursuit of that dream.

The general feeling is, KAAFILA is about the Malta Boat Tragedy, while the fact is that the boat tragedy forms a small, but significant part of the story. In fact, the tragedy is depicted realistically and since it features in the initial reels, you expect the graph of the film only to go higher and higher.

But the writing could've been tighter. As pointed out at the outset, the romantic track of Sunny - Polina and Amitoj - Monalisa doesn't work. The Russian mafia track is also not convincing.

Director Amitoj Maan has handled a few scenes well, but he should trim the film judiciously in the latter half. Sukhwinder's music is easy on the ear drums. 'Jaana Hain' and 'Humraks' are already popular. Cinematography [Nazir Khan] is of standard and the stunning landscapes sweep you off your feet. Action scenes [Hanif Sheikh] are alright. Varun Gautam's dialogues are nice. 

Sunny Deol does well. Amitoj Maan dominates in a few scenes. But the real surprise is Pakistani actress Sana. This being her debut-making Hindi film and despite the fact that she's pitted against experienced names, Sana succeeds in making her presence felt. Sudesh Berry does well.

The film has a host of characters, but those who stand out are Paramveer Singh, Girish Jain, Chandan Anand, Sardar Sohi and Ashish Duggal.

On the whole, KAAFILA is made with noble intentions, but is partly letdown due to its writing and length. Fair.

Producer
Tony Sandhu


Director
Ammtoje Mann


Star Cast
Sunny Deol...... Sameer
Sana Nawaz
Sudesh Berry...... Santokh Singh
Ammtoje Mann...... Aman
Monalisa...... Niharika
Polina Stoynova...... Sameer's wife
Sambhavna Sheth...... special appearance in item song on ship
Ashish Duggal...... Nawab Khan
Anil Yadav...... Bangladeshi
Sameep Kang...... Makhan Singh
Girish Jain...... Guppi
Anand Mishra...... Multani Baba
Sachin Parekh...... Jayesh
Arun Kadam...... Anna
Jayant Das...... Probir Chatterjee
Girish Sahdev...... Professor Girish
Chandan Anand...... Deep Singh
Rana Jung Bahadur...... Pakistani police officer


Cassettes and CD's on
Pen Audio


Singers
Sukhwinder Singh
Daler Mehndi
Abhijeet
Mohammad Aziz
Gursewak Mann
Dolly Sidhu
Abbey
Nabi Madjnun
Shahaanaa Pandit


Lyricist
Babu Maan


Music Director
Sukhwinder Singh


Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
Poornima Bhatacharya


Cinematography
Nazir Khan


Choreography
Raju Khan


Action
Hanif Sheikh


Art
Sunil Singh


Editor
Tirupati Reddy


Sound
Parikshit Lalwani


Dialogue
Varun Gautam


Costume
Shemayel Khan
Simple Kapadia


Publicity Designs
Glamour Design Studio


Story / Writer
Ammtoje Mann

Blue Umbrella

Stories like the one narrated in THE BLUE UMBRELLA are a rarity today, since the focus is on a large canvas and larger than life stars. THE BLUE UMBRELLA is set in a hamlet and essentially revolves around an umbrella, a kid and a tea stall owner.

The handling of the subject material is interesting, but the fact remains that the film has its limitations. It caters to a small section of moviegoers, the connoisseurs of cinema, thereby restricting its appeal to select multiplexes in select cities.

The story unfurls with the discovery of a vibrant blue umbrella by Biniya [Shreya Sharma], an eleven-year-old girl from an idyllic mountain village in North India. She has never seen anything more striking and beautiful. Neither has Nandkishore Khatri [Pankaj Kapur].

Khatri runs a small tea stall in the village. He is a miser who has a fondness for pickles and swindling kids off their little possessions. Khatri is smitten by the beauty of the umbrella and goes to remarkable lengths to acquire it, but fails miserably. 

However, Khatri is not the only one to covet the umbrella. The umbrella's arrival disturbs the tranquility and harmony of the village. Biniya's secret weapon gives her an enviable power over the small town, as the umbrella assumes mythical status.

One fine day, the umbrella goes missing…

As a storyteller, Vishal Bhardwaj has a knack of narrating a story well and also extracting wonderful performances from the cast. In THE BLUE UMBRELLA, the director succeeds in conveying a message [greed can ruin the best of relationships] forcefully towards the end, when the entire village boycotts Pankaj Kapur for robbing the umbrella. The second hour, in particular the concluding reels, are highly absorbing.

However, the film can do with some trimming in the second hour. Cinematography is inconsistent. Why is the lighting too dark at times, especially during indoor sequences? Otherwise, the outdoor work is remarkable.

Pankaj Kapur is in top form yet again, although, at times, his dialogues aren't audible. Shreya Sharma is a terrific discovery. She stands on her feet, despite being pitted with a towering performer like Kapur. The remaining cast is alright.

On the whole, THE BLUE UMBRELLA is a well-made film, but it's for a handful of viewers in a handful of cities. More for the Festival circuit.

Producer
Vishal Bharadwaj
Ronnie Screwvala


Director
Vishal Bharadwaj


Star Cast
Pankaj Kapoor...... Nandkishore Khatri
Shreya Sharma...... Biniya
Deepak Dobriyal...... The electronic fortune teller
Manek Bedi...... Arjun (Biniya's brother)


Lyricist
Gulzar


Music Director
Vishal Bharadwaj


Cinematography
Sachin Kumar Krishnan


Art

Samir Chanda


Editor

Aarif Shaikh


Sound
Dara Singh


Story / Writer
Vishal Bharadwaj
Minty
Abhishek Chaubhey

Cash

Sinha has mastered the craft and garnishes CASH well, but as you begin to savor the taste, you realize that the recipe isn't perfect. Perhaps, writers Yash-Vinay had the right intentions of making a chor-sipahi kahani, but the writing is just not convincing.

Where does the problem lie? Not with Anubhav Sinha, for the director is, without doubt, one of the most stylish narrators in Bollywood. The choice of subject is also right, but the writing lacks the meat to mesmerize the viewer. Clearly, the screenplay is the villain here! 

The film revolves around an ace con artist [Ajay Devgan], who hires a set of topnotch robbers [Esha Deol, Zayed Khan, Dia Mirza and Ritesh Deshmukh] to steal a set of priceless diamonds in South Africa.

The group also faces a threat from underworld don [Suniel Shetty], who is after the same diamonds and also the Head of Security [Shamita Shetty]. How these three groups manage to thwart each other forms the rest of the story.

CASH bears an uncanny resemblance to some films. The concept of a guy hiring professionals to execute a plan brings back memories of SHOLAY. There's an uncanny resemblance with DHOOM 2 as far as the stylish stunts are concerned. Also, a number of individuals wanting to lay their hands on the priceless diamonds take you to SHALIMAR.

It's not blasphemous to be inspired by any film, past or present, but what the writers ought to know by now is that there has to be a riveting story at the end of the day. What you take back as a viewer is only style. The writing is unenergetic in the first hour, but the second hour, you've to admit, is far more absorbing. The marked currency notes and also the chase by the cops [Ritesh, Esha, with Zayed atop the speeding car] are pulse-pounding.

Director Anubhav Sinha does make a 'good looking film', but the writing curtails it from being called an engrossing saga. If Sinha deserves brownie points for making a visually enticing movie, all you want to remind him is that the viewer wants to listen to an absorbing story at the end of the day. As the captain of the ship, he should've ensured that Yash-Vinay gave him a smart screenplay that compliments his skills. 

Anthony Stone's stunts are topnotch. A never-seen-before experience on the Hindi screen. Vishal-Shekhar's music is trendy and the visuals and choreography supporting the tracks make you exclaim 'Wow'. Ravi Walia's cinematography is mesmeric. The film bears a striking look all through. Dialogues are well-worded at times.

Ajay Devgan is not in form this time around. He looks unenergetic… something is missing! Suniel Shetty gets to play a role he has visited a few times in the past. Zayed Khan is strictly okay. The real scene stealer is Ritesh Deshmukh. Very confident and easy-going, he's sure to walk away with ceetees and taalis.

Shamita Shetty stands out. Esha suffers due to sketchy characterization. Also, her make-up makes her face look hard. Dia is far more appealing and enacts her part well. Ayesha Takia adds to the star-value.

On the whole, CASH has style, but rests on a thin plot and that is its biggest flaw. At the box-office, the film might attract the audience in its initial weekend, but a weak script will throw a spanner.

Producer
Anubhav Sinha
Sohail Maklai
Anish Ranjan


Director
Anubhav Sinha


Star Cast
Ajay Devgan...... Karan aka Doc
Ritesh Deshmukh...... Lucky
Zayed Khan...... Danny
Shamita Shetty...... Shania
Sunil Shetty...... Angad
Esha Deol...... Puja
Dia Mirza...... Aditi
Ayesha Takia


Cassettes and CD's on
Big Music


Singers
Sunidhi Chauhan
Vishal Dadlani
Shekhar Ravjiani
Anushka Manchandani

Lyricist
Vishal Dadlani
Panchhi Jalonvi


Music Director
Vishal Dadlani
Shekhar Ravjiani

Background Music
Ranjit Barot


Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
Merlin Karavaliil

Cinematography
Ravi Walia


Choreography
Remo
Rajeev Goswami


Action

Antony Stone


Editor

Amarjeet Singh

Sound
Arun Nambiar

Dialogue
Anubhav Sinha


Story / Writer
Vinay
Yash

Gandhi My Father

“The greatest regret of my life…
Two people I could never convince --
My Muslim friend Mohammed Ali Jinnah and
My own son Harilal Gandhi.”

It's all the more tough if the film is based on Mahatma Gandhi. And a far bigger challenge is to present the relationship shared by the Mahatma and his son Harilal.

Everyone knows about Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, but not much is known about him as a father to his children. GANDHI MY FATHER tells the story of Harilal Gandhi and the relationship he shared with his parents, more particularly with his father, the great Mahatma. 

GANDHI MY FATHER leaves an indelible impression on the viewer. Since the story of Harilal is not known to many, you absorb every incident like a sponge absorbs water. It's an enlightening experience… and also a moving one. Your heart goes out to Harilal and his plight, more so towards the sunset of his life, makes you moist-eyed.

GANDHI MY FATHER tells a story not told before and director Feroz Abbas Khan tells it very well. Put your hands together for one of the finest films to come out of India. This one deserves to be the official entry for the Oscars.

To sum up, GANDHI MY FATHER is a must watch for every Indian. Strongly recommended!

Somewhere in the shadows of a great man [Mahatma Gandhi] lived his son [Harilal Gandhi], roaming the streets of India like a beggar. Converting to Islam as a rebellion, reconverting to Hinduism as a penance and finally drinking himself to death.

Mahatma Gandhi could transform the soul of a nation, but could not save the soul of his own son. The film unfolds a personal tragedy about a principled father and an unfortunate son.

For most viewers, the story of GANDHI MY FATHER is an eye-opener, since it tells a rarely heard story and tells it exceedingly well. The storyteller recreates the era with flourish, not once deviating from the core issue. The story is not about the freedom movement and the pivotal role played by the Mahatma, but it highlights the sensitive relationship between a father and son. 

As a cinematic experience, GANDHI MY FATHER unfolds in the most simplistic, but compelling manner. Since the director is talking history, he ought to do the balancing act well. He reproduces facts without resorting to cinematic liberties and at the same time, simplifies everything so that the viewer can decipher it well.

A landmark film in all respects, highlighting a scene or two would be doing gross injustice to the film. For, every sequence has the power to keep you hooked and most importantly, carries the stamp of a genius.

The director has ensured that every department works in tandem. David Macdonald's cinematography is superb. Special mention must be made of the B & W, grainy frames that compliment the actual footage. The production design [Nitin Chandrakant Desai] is perfect. The ambience transports you to the early 20th century. Make-up [Penny Smith] is of international standard. The transformation of the characters as they age looks so real. Costumes [Sujata Sharma] suit the theme well. Background score [Piyush Kanojia] is appropriate.

Akshaye Khanna is extraordinary in the role of Harilal Gandhi. He portrays the varied emotions -- angst, sorrow, anger, frustration, love -- with great understanding and maturity and comes up with his career-best work. Darshan Jariwala as Mahatma Gandhi is another great performance you carry home. Although a number of seasoned actors have portrayed the part of Mahatma Gandhi on the big screen, Darshan's performance easily ranks amongst the best. 

Shefali Shah is awesome. Note the sequence when Harilal converts to Islam and Kasturba Gandhi visits him. Or the final moments before she bids goodbye to the world. The actress deserves the highest marks. Why don't we see more of Shefali on the big screen? Bhumika Chawla is excellent. Her portions, with Harilal mainly, are well enacted.

On the whole, GANDHI MY FATHER is a treat for movie lovers. As mentioned at the very outset, it's a must-see for all Indians. At the box-office, it holds tremendous appeal for the multiplexes, where it should grow with a strong word of mouth. Strongly recommended!


Producer
Anil Kapoor

Director
Feroz Abbas Khan

Star Cast
Akshaye Khanna...... Harilal Gandhi
Bhumika Chawla...... Gulab Gandhi
Shefali Chhaya...... Kasturba Gandhi
Darshan Jariwala...... Mahatma Gandhi
Daniel Janks...... Henry Polak


Cinematography
David Macdonald


Art
Nitin Desai


Editor
Sreekar Prasad


Screenplay

Feroz Abbas Khan


Sound

Resul Pookutty


Costume

Sujata Sharma


Hairstylist
Penny Smith


Story / Writer
Feroz Abbas Khan

Ta Ra Rum Pum


The West has often made films depicting the rise, fall and subsequent rise of sportspersons. ROCKY [Sylvester Stallone], DAYS OF THUNDER [Tom Cruise] and CINDERELLA MAN [Russell Crowe] are films that cross your mind as you watch director Siddharth Raj Anand's second outing TA RA RUM PUM. It wouldn't be erroneous to state that Siddharth borrows from the above-named films, but he garnishes the material with desi emotions that work well with Indian moviegoers.

There's no denying that TA RA RUM PUM is a well-crafted fare that provides entertaining moments and also succeeds in its goal as a feel-good experience. One of the prime reasons why TA RA RUM PUM works is because it's not about car racing only. It involves a couple, their two kids, the family's riches to rags story, their highs and lows…

Now let's get down to the basics: What works and what doesn't? If the car racing sequences are awe-inspiring, the emotional quotient in the second hour is worth acknowledging as well. A number of sequences make you moist-eyed, especially the high-octane climax that not only gives you goose bumps, but also makes you jump with joy.

However, TA RA RUM PUM isn't a flawless film. You can't turn a blind eye to the aberrations in those 16 reels. Fortunately, the pros outweigh the cons in the final tally.

To sum up, Siddharth Raj Anand comes up with a worthy follow up to his directorial debut, the immensely likable SALAAM | NAMASTEY. TA RA RUM PUM easily ranks amongst Yash Raj's better films in terms of style as also substance.

TA RA RUM PUM tells the story of one man, his family and how they overcome the obstacles that life puts in their way, together. It is the story of human spirit and how it ultimately prevails.

Rajveer Singh [Saif Ali Khan] is a pit-crew worker in a racing team with a passion for driving who gets discovered by a team manager, Harry [Jaaved Jaaferi]. The same day, he accidentally meets a music student, Radhika [Rani Mukerji], who he falls for instantly. He gets drafted into 'Speeding Saddles' -- a failing race team and transforms from Rajveer Singh to 'RV', the race car driver.

While his racing career takes off instantly, his love life also blossoms after a whirlwind romance. A few months later, he is both a happily married man and one of the country's best racers. Fatherhood and greater success both follow and soon he is the Number 1 race car driver in U.S.A. as well as the proud father of two kids -- Priya [Angelina Idnani] and Ranveer [Ali Haji].

But as a result of a bad racing accident, RV is hospitalized for a few months. When he tries to make a comeback, he realizes that he has been mentally scarred by the accident. His life now takes a turn for the worse and after a string of failures, he is forced to auction his house and move with his family to a run-down neighborhood.

However, RV and Radhika decide not to tell their children the truth and construct a skillful masquerade of a reality show where they have to live a poor life in order to win a mythical grand prize. The family struggles to survive a life that they are not used to, using a mixture of fantasy and cheerfulness to pull through in the face of adversity. But an incident forces RV to reclaim the life that was taken away from him.

You don't take to TA RA RUM PUM instantly, since the writing [screenplay: Habib Faisal] meanders on oft-repeated tracks initially [the snooty father-in-law/Victor Banerjee looking down upon the son-in-law/Saif Ali Khan, the mandatory romantic scenes and songs]. The one aspect that shines the brightest in the first hour is the car race that makes Saif's life go topsy-turvy. Ideally, the intermission card should've flashed at this juncture, but the sequences that follow are plain mediocre.

Thankfully, the substance [script] as also the execution of the material improves a great deal in the post-interval portions. The plight of the family moves you: Saif is reduced to a cabbie, Rani plays piano at birthday parties and hotels to run the kitchen fires and foot the bills, the children skip their meals to save for the school fees. The son, in fact, picks up leftovers from the waste to satiate his hunger… These are moments that mirror the realities of life.

The highpoint of the film are the penultimate reels. Right from Saif storming into a hotel, asking for a loan of $ 65,000 to the final victory, the narrative reaches its crescendo in those 25 + minutes. In fact, the powerful second hour elevates the film tremendously.

Director Siddharth Raj Anand is only getting better with every film. He handles the emotional moments in particular very well. The execution of the race sequences is outstanding. Something like this hasn't been witnessed on the Hindi screen before. Binod Pradhan's camerawork is marvelous.

Vishal-Shekhar's music is of the fast-forward variety. One looked forward to a better score for sure. However, the picturization of a few songs camouflages the defect to an extent. The kiddie song -- merging live with animated characters -- catches your attention. The animation here matches international quality.

Saif is extremely likable. He conveys the varied emotions with complete understanding. Rani enacts the role of the mother/wife proficiently. Jaaved Jaaferi is first-rate in a serious role. Bharat Dabholkar is efficient. Victor Banerjee suits the character. Shruti Seth is alright. Angelina Idnani and Ali Haji are adorable.

On the whole, TA RA RUM PUM easily ranks amongst better films from the Yash Raj factory. Surprisingly, the film has opened to a below-the-mark response at several screens. But it has the potential and power to gather speed in days to come since it has something for everyone -- emotional quotient for families, thrilling car races to woo the youth and the kiddie factor to attract this huge movie-going segment [kids]. Its business in Overseas should be excellent and in India, the multiplexes will help the distributors reap a harvest. Strongly recommended!


Producer
Aditya Chopra

Director
Siddharth Anand

Star Cast
Saif Ali Khan...... Rajveer Singh (RV)
Rani Mukherjee...... Radhika
Shruti Seth
Victor Banerjee...... Radhika's father
Bharat Dabholkar
Ravi Khote
Sujoy Ghosh
Javed Jaffrey...... Harry
Ali Haji...... Champ
Angelina Idnani...... Priya
Binod Pradhan
Dolly Bindra

Cassettes and CD's on
Yash Raj Music

Singers
Shaan
Mahalakshmi Iyer
Sneha Suresh
Shravan Suresh
Sunidhi Chauhan
Sonu Nigam
Soumya Raoh
Shreya Ghosal
K K
Vishal Dadlani

Lyricist
Javed Akhtar

Music Director
Vishal Dadlani
Shekhar Ravjiani

Background Music
Salim Merchant
Sulaiman Merchant

Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
Akshai Puri
Prashant Shah
Ravina Kohli

Cinematography
Binod Pradhan

Choreography
Vaibhavi Merchant

Action
George Aguilar (USA)
Steve Kelso

Art
Sharmishta Roy

Editor
Rameshwar S Bhagat
Ritesh Soni

Screenplay
Habib Faisal

Sound
Dileep Subramaniam

Dialogue
Habib Faisal

Costume
Mamta Anand
Surily Goel
Meghna Kapoor

Official Website url
http://www.yashrajfilms.com

Publicity Designs
Fayyaz Badruddin

Publicity Stills
Binod Pradhan
Ishika Mohan

Story / Writer
Siddharth Anand

Line Producer
Prashant Shah
Ravina Kohli
Akshai Puri

Kya Love Story Hai


Most importantly, if the title happens to be KYA LOVE STORY HAI, there has to be something in this love story to make you jump with joy and also feel that the title was justified. Sadly, that's not the case here!

Two guys love the same girl, add a dash of heart-burn, throw a few comic scenes and plug five/six song and voila, the recipe for a love story is ready. Films like KYA LOVE STORY HAI worked in the 1970s and 1980s, but in today's context, it's completely out of sync.

In a nutshell, KYA LOVE STORY HAI is as obsolete and outdated as last year's newspapers.

KYA LOVE STORY HAI is the story of a carefree and wayward youth, Arjun [Tusshar Kapoor], who experiences love-at-first-sight with Kaajal [Ayesha Takia]. It isn't a typical situation -- he follows her for some time before succeeding in breaking the ice.

For Kaajal, Arjun is a mere acquaintance, but the latter is in love with her and afraid of conveying his feelings. On befriending her, he learns that she lost her mother years back and that her father was busy traveling abroad on business.

A situation arises when Kaajal comes across a letter that Arjun has written for the girl he loves, but she doesn't know to whom he is referring. Arjun deliberately asks her how she would reciprocate his love if she were the girl he was in love with? Kaajal's reply leaves Arjun self-introspecting, making him mysteriously disappear from the scene.

In the meantime, a successful and snooty entrepreneur Ranveer [Karan Hukku] meets Kaajal. Following some heated verbal scuffles with her, he concludes that she would make for an appropriate life-partner because she was a stabilizing influence and kept him mellow.

When Arjun returns to South Africa, during an astonishingly coincidental encounter, he finds Kaajal engaged to the entrepreneur. Destiny has entangled three hearts, but who will emerge victorious?

The problem with KYA LOVE STORY HAI clearly lies in its script. You don't have to be a Nostradamus to predict what's in store next. You actually look for some novel sequence/incident in the narrative, but there's none. Sure, a few sequences are well executed, like the sport on the beach, but the unwanted songs coupled with the cheesy comic track involving Tusshar's sex-maniac friends act as spoilsport.

From the writing point of view, the conflict between the three people is handled in the most routine manner. The viewer knows what twists and turns will follow next since there's no originality whatsoever.

Lovely Singh's direction is mediocre, but the culprit is the screenplay. A thin storyline has been stretched needlessly for no reason. Lovely knows the technicalities right, but one hopes he opts for innovative stuff in his future endeavors.

Pritam's music is a major asset. The Kareena Kapoor track ['It's Rocking'; the film begins with this stylish song] is the best track. The other songs are tuneful as well. Only thing, the placement of songs is a problem. Rajeev Shrivastava's cinematography is attention-grabbing. The stunning locales of Cape Town give the film a glossy look. Dialogues [Niranjan Iyengar] sound natural.

Tusshar's role is akin to the one he portrayed in his debut film MUJHE KUCHH KEHNA HAI. He loves the girl, but can't express his feelings. Despite saddled with a role he has visited in the past, it must be noted that Tusshar is quite likable in his part. The honesty that this character demands is writ large on Tusshar's face and expressions.

Ayesha Takia handles her role with admirable ease. Her infectious smile enlivens the scene. Although the part doesn't demand histrionics, she pitches in a commendable performance. Newcomer Karan Hukku has strong screen presence and carries himself well, but he looks stiff in a few scenes. Also, he needs to work on his dialogue delivery, especially during romantic scenes.

Sujata Kumar [Karan Hukku's mom in the film] is effective. Tusshar's two friends irritate. Kareena Kapoor looks gorgeous in the opening track.

On the whole, KYA LOVE STORY HAI stands on a shaky foundation [poor script] and that is its biggest weakness. Disappointing!


Producer
N R Pachisia

Director
Lovely Singh

Star Cast
Tusshar Kapoor...... Arjun
Ayesha Takia...... Kaajal
Kareena Kapoor...... in an item song
Karan Hukku...... Ranveer
Rahul Singh
Shyam Mashalkar
Sujata Kumar...... Ranveer's mom

Cassettes and CD's on
T-Series

Singers
Shaan
Alisha Chinoy
Sonu Nigam
Kunal Ganjawala
Joy
Jolly Mukherjee
Zubeen Garg

Lyricist
Shabbir Ahmed

Music Director
Pritam Chakraborty

Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
Pravin Talreja

Cinematography
Rajeev Shrivastava

Choreography
Rajeev Soorti

Editor
Steven Bernard

Screenplay
Rahul Singh

Dialogue
Niranjan Iyengar

Story / Writer
Rahul Singh

JANE BHI DO YAARON


Batches of talented students were coming out of Pune's Film and Television Institute, their heads brimming with ideas. Kundan Shah was one of them, and with him on his first film, were his friends from the Institute.

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, like most films produced by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), was not an immediate success, because it did not get a wide release. But it launched many careers, and went on to head the list of the best comedies made in India.

Vinod Chopra (Naseeruddin Shah) and Sudhir Mishra (Ravi Vaswani) are two professional photographers trying to start a photo studio. They get their first proper assignment from the investigative magazine Khabardar, with Shobha (Bhakti Barve) as its editor.

In the course of their work, they discover that one of the biggest builders in Bombay, Tarneja (Pankaj Kapoor) is trying to bribe Municipal Commissioner D'Mello (Satish Shah) into giving him a contract for a flyover. D'Mello is also negotiating with Tarneja's arch rival Ahuja (Om Puri).

Quite by chance Vinod and Sudhir get a photo that shows that Tarneja has murdered D'Mello. The body goes missing, however, and it turns up at the drunken Ahuja's house. They locate the cadaver take pictures of it and take it with them in the hope of exposing Tarneja.

Between one comic incident and another, Vinod and Sudhir are on the run with the corpse, with Tarneja, Ahuja, the new Municipal Commissioner Srivastava (Deepak Qazir), Shobha and others in pursuit, resulting in a hilarious chase that ends up in a memorable climax at a Mahabharat nautanki performance, where the hapless corpse is dressed as Draupadi.

The film was a non-stop laugh riot, which also included an anti-corruption message. Nearly a quarter of a century later, it remains as fresh and as entertaining as ever.


Director
Kundan Shah

Star Cast
Naseruddin Shah...... Vinod Chopra
Bhakti Barve...... Shobha
Ravi Baswani...... Sudhir Mishra
Satish Shah...... Com. D'Mello
Neena Gupta...... Priya
Om Puri...... Ahuja
Pankaj Kapoor...... Tarneja
Satish Kaushik...... Ashok
Deepak Qazir...... Municipal Commissioner Srivastava
Rajesh Puri...... Kamdar
Jaspal Sandhu
Uday Chandra
Vidhu Vinod Chopra...... Dushasana
Ashok Banthia
Sudhir Mishra...... Reporter (uncredited)
Ajay Wadhavkar
Kenny Desai

Music Director
Vanraj Bhatia

Cinematography
Binod Pradhan

Art
Rajaram
Robin Das

Editor
Renu Saluja

Screenplay
Kundan Shah
Sudhir Mishra

Sound
Sudhir Mishra
Suresh Paswan
Renu Saluja

Dialogue
Ranjit Kapoor
Satish Kaushik

Costume
Sujatha

Story / Writer
Kundan Shah
Sudhir Mishra
f t g m