Kalank (2019)

The film sets its period tone from the beginning, weaving its story slowly and introducing its characters.

The plot moves at a languid pace, some sequences are brilliant while others lack a punch. All actors have done their part well, Alia Bhatt, Madhuri Dixit and Varun Dhawan have a larger emotional spectrum. Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha and Aditya Roy Kapur lend able support. The story and dialogue don’t support them as they should have.

Director Abhishek Varman presents an aesthetic film which could have done with better editing and writing. It was sad to see many talents get wasted, their characters not well written and scenes and songs which drag on or are not required.

30-40 minutes shorter with crisper lines, the film would have had more appeal. As it stands it’s an average fare.

2.5/5

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Ok Jaanu (2017)

Shaad Ali directed Saathiya, Bunty aur Babli, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Kill Dil and now this. What was this?

Mumbai has never looked better, but look for anything else and you will be disappointed. Adapted from the Tamil film ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’, the prolific Karan Johar and Mani Ratnam forgot that live in relationships are no big deal in Mumbai.

Moving on, we have some cute moments, in an otherwise sleep inducing movie. Humma Humma stirs us awake as the proceedings become a lullaby again. Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor are at best mediocre in roles that don’t require much else.

Naseeruddin Shah and his wife Leela Samson are a great example of a loving relationship, endearing characters in an otherwise dull tale.

1/5

Daawat-e-ishq (2014)

What could have been a witty spicy dish turned out to be a half baked badly prepared main course with two good side dishes.

Side dish 1: Aditya Roy Kapur : refreshing in a clean role, a guy with his heart in the right place, doing the rare balancing act from the beginning.

Side dish 2 : Anupam Kher : a cute, supportive single father who plays along, albeit not to convincingly, but endearing nonetheless.

A talent like Parineeti was good in parts but suffered because of a whimsical characterisation. Her motives, her plan, her agenda and purpose all were warped. So many key things were ignored to move the story along. Short at 2 hours, it could have been a crisp sweet savoury act, but failed to excite any taste buds.

Director Habib Faisal explores the subject of dowry, a very sad state in India. But aren’t those who give dowry just as much to blame? He is associated with some good films as a writer and director, but this one seems as a misfit in that list.

An offering from Yash Raj which will leave a bad taste in your mouth.

1.5/5

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

Director Ayan Mukherji brings a variety of emotions and nuances of relationships alive on screen, in this closeted musical film. I guess he had hoped but not imagined that all the songs would be so well received, but they are not the only reason this film is good. Here goes…

The writing of the film is meaningful. You have a lot of depth packed into a few dialogues, scenes are short and crisp and so much is said and inferred with body language and eye contact that this doesn’t seem to be a second film of a 29 year old director. People have found the first half packed and fun and the second half slow. Well, the pace was meant to be a slower, and yes I found both halves in appropriate speed limits.

It is difficult to make Deepika look different, or act different, but they have achieved that. She has communicated silently, mostly using her eyes, which is a feat for a young actress. Kalki is a feisty young girl, and fits her character to the T. Aditya is suffering from a different addiction this time, but the last one made more than 100 crores at the box office, so go ahead, indulge! Ranbir, is, well, Ranbir. The perfect combination of genes, talent, looks and sheer hardwork, this man is flawless.

The songs are catchy, fun, different and well shot. I think it was a masterstroke idea to get the crowd revved up by starting with Madhuri’s item number. The womans’ still got it and we get a tiny peek into what entertainment awaits us.

We get to see some beautiful locations around India and the world, which act as mere props because the story is stronger than the visual. A Karan Johar production through and through!

The spectrum of human emotions served delicately, this film is friendship, love, family, work and passion!

4/5