Ki & Ka (2016)

What do you get when you reverse gender roles? When a man wants to be a home maker and the woman wants to earn? You get director Balki’s half baked film with some isolated messages.

The film moves quickly with Kareena / Kia and Arjun / Kabeer meeting and displaying their personalities, likes and dislikes. An unconventional relationship develops between a university topper and a competitive career driven executive.

My problem with the film was its inconsistency. While Arjun and his mother in law Swaroop Sampat were in character, it was Kareena who deviated. Some of her actions and words didn’t ring true with her decisive and strong outlook.

In the end the message by the ‘cameos’ was better than the real one, but a message nonetheless for the male dominated society that we live in. Arjun was the clear hero/ine of the film. The story would have made more sense if it was about a ‘stay at home dad’. Special mention for the creative interiors of their beautiful apartment.

Baby steps to a larger, stronger and more cohesive message.



Finding Fanny (2014)

You have to give points to Homi Adajania for sheer courage to make a film like this for our audience. And a pat on the back of our audience, who have appreciated the film, which has crossed 24 crores in the domestic market.

Some have called it ‘off beat’, some a ‘dark comedy’, for me it just seemed like a ‘slice of life’. A very strange slice, of 5 people who at the very least project their own insecurities and desires and at the most are as vulnerable and idiosyncratic as any of us.

The project is to find fanny, or Stephanie, an old lost love. But it turns out that the 5 (6 if you count the cat) actually find themselves, without meaning to. There is no big realization or epiphany. It is simple, mundane, albeit not entirely ordinary and in those moments we have laughed. Which I think is very difficult to achieve, and more difficult to create.

Dimple Kapadia clearly stole the show, her character having a graph of extremes. Naseeruddin Shah, our love lorn bachelor, plays his emotional and dreamy character very well. Pankaj Kapur, gave us a theatrical performance of an eccentric artist, whereas Arjun Kapoor did what he does best, underplayed, intense, with some great dialogue delivery. Deepika Padukone was perhaps the buffer, the stabiliser between all of them, the glue of sanity, and as always, she delivered an honest performance.

This film HAS TO BE WATCHED IN ENGLISH. The Goan lingo won’t work otherwise. Great writing by the director and Kersi Khambatta. Watch out for unexpected laughs, some very witty lines, expressions and situations.


2 states (2014)

A book written by and apparently based on Chetan Bhagat’s own dating and marriage story, has Arjun Kapoor (Krish) in a positive role, finally! Alia (Ananya) shines in a confident yet traditional role, different from her other two outings. They make a sparkling couple thanks to the way the director Abhishek Verman has presented them.

The story is simple, reminiscent of a side story in Vicky Donor where the Bengalis finally party with the Punjabis. Here of course, its the ‘Madrasis’ who are subject to Punjabi antics, dished out deliciously by Amrita Singh. She is up against Revathy, who gives it back with equal fervour. Wish there were subtitles for such a film, to let the audience truly be part of both states.

Its an ensemble cast effort, be it the strong and silent Shiv Kumar Subramanium who plays Alia’s dad, or Arjun’s alcoholic father Ronit Roy plays so convincingly. Both families put together, you have a southern buffet served with a north Indian tadka, made sensitively and sincerely.

The director has planned his highs and lows well in the film, sometimes stretching the plot too thin, but taking you to a beautiful conclusion nevertheless.


Gunday (2014)

A strong back story which starts with the creation of Bangladesh, shows us two young boys who are dealing with the consequences of being hungry refugees. How they survive and grow to be  proud powerful goons in the 80s, forms the riveting beginning. Bikram and Bala, acted in true 70’s style, by Ranveer & Arjun, exude excellent camaraderie on screen. Gunday is almost everything a period film should be in today’s age.

Priyanka plays a sexy cabaret dancer, who is wooed by both young men. Irrfan represents the law that is having a good time chasing them, more for the audience’s benefit than his own, rather than just arresting them. The first half goes by with entertaining amongst some over acting. The second half becomes more hamming, but still manages to retain the mood.

After an unnecessary song, shot ‘a la dil tu hi bata’ from Krrish 3, I was wondering what is Priyanka doing in the film besides looking stunning. She later established exactly why, in one powerful scene. The complications continue and have been given a fitting end, incorporating cow boy, Italian mafia, dramatic Bollywood cinema, all-in-one.

A ‘paisa vasool’ flick, stylised and shot well by director Ali Abbas Zafar.