Dishoom

At its best a ‘kuch bhi’ silliness, at worst a no brainer, abandon logic, zero logic flick by Rohit Dhawan, where Varun Dhawan entertains sporadically with his silly antics. John Abraham is wooden, but it serves his character well. Jacqueline is eye candy who has her promised item number. Poor Akshay Khanna is a laughable villain and Rahul Dev even more so. Akshay Kumar’s cameo steals the show.

1.5/5

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Wazir (2016)

Wazir: Bejoy Nambiar brings two powerful actors in a film which centres around a metaphorical and theatrical game of chess. The expectations are high, but the product he delivers is tepid and predictable.

Short at 102 minutes, he extracts good performances from Aditi Rao Hydari who looks vulnerable and beautiful, Neil Nitin Mukesh who is menacing and Manav Kaul who is moderately unlikeable. The two leads of the film are not written equally well, resulting in a half baked character for Farhan Akhtar, and a complete one for Amitabh Bachchan. That is a surprise, because Farhan is a director/actor whose choices are usually spot on. Senior Bachchan can’t do no wrong. He carries the film effortlessly and though his character is wheel-chair bound, he still towers above the rest with his superlative portrayal.

John Abraham makes a wooden cameo, and different versions of the song ‘Tere Bin’ pulls us through what could have been a taut thriller, but is soon relegated into the ordinary and below average.

2/5

Madras Cafe (2013)

This film which was shot and directed really well, but had a few loop holes. The documentary style approach, its vivid story telling, is not common for the Indian audience.

While we were ‘spoon fed’ what may have happened during the lead up to the assassination of our ‘ex PM’ and the circumstances that surrounded it, it was the cast that let the product down. John is wooden without any emotion, and goes through the film mouthing lines. Other important characters are either too emphatic, or caricature-like. Nargis Fakhri was not convincing at all. There are some good performances, but the casting could have been better. Some details in the story are either missing or vague, but they can be over looked by the masses. The discerning viewer will catch them though.

What saves the film is the direction and an honest attempt to say a story differently. Shots of war, distress, trauma and the planning and completion of the mission are executed very well. I guess since John was producer, the director was stuck with this particular talent.

Another feather in the cap for Shoojit Sircar after Yahaan (2005) and Vicky Donor (2012).

3/5