Ek Ladki ko dekha to Aisa Laga (2019)

Director Shelly Chopra Dhar sensitively presents a love story from many perspectives, leaving you to make your own mind.

Sonam Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao get tangled in a fictional reality which leads them to their individual truths. Anil Kapoor is in brilliant form and Juhi Chawla still has perfect comic timing. We get some genuine humour from Seema Bhargav Pahwa and Brijendra Kala.

Short and sweet, it leaves you with many memorable scenes and lines.



The hundred foot journey (2014)

Writer Richard C. Morais probably didn’t imagine such a stellar cast and rich production would be given to his novel. Two beautiful worlds collided in this film, where Indian spices and flavours gave age old French recipes and classic culinary a delectable twist.

The story is neither predictable, nor are the characters. Helen Mirren plays the Michelin Star restaurant owner who has new ‘neighbours’. They have opened ‘Mumbai Maison’, an Indian restaurant 100 feet from hers. There starts a journey which no one could have foreseen. Director Lasse Hallström’s repertoire of the ABBA videos and his impressive filmography show a flair to balance such contrasting elements.

Besides salivating throughout the film, and laughing at ‘Papa’ Om Puri’s exquisite ‘Indian-ness’, we are treated by the stiff and snobby Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) and the vulnerable yet talented Hassan (Manish Dayal). They are ably supported by Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) and a small yet adorable cast playing both Hassan’s family and Madame’s staff and town folk. Sensitive bonds, breath-taking French locales, cinematography that captures our own emotions and feelings set this film apart in 2014.

We take with us the tastes of both cultures, but above all, the lesson that good food never goes unrewarded. Prejudice takes a back seat and talent takes centre stage. Produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and five others, with music by A.R.Rahman, this is one masterchef you cannot afford to miss.

Running to packed houses in limited cinemas with even fewer shows, savour it now!


Gulaab Gang (2014)

Debutante director Soumik Sen took on a huge task to show women’s struggles in villages and vigilantes who protect them. It was a casting coup, with Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla coming together on the screen for the first time. The subject is tricky and not a sure fire hit with the audience and it bears a striking resemblance to the Gulaabi gang lead by Sampat Pal Devi. A court order which put a stay on the release which was lifted on Thursday, confused viewers and really hurt Friday numbers.

The film shows us an anarchy of power, where women have strength but don’t seem to train for it. They sing and dance as merrily as they mete out justice. They weave saris, string baskets, teach the alphabet and are every bit the alpha male, who comes away unscathed from a fight scene.

Madhuri serves us several shades, a handful of which we haven’t seen before. She is powerful, yet soft, strong yet emotional, a total contrast to what she should have been shown as, to believably play Rajjo. Juhi on the other hand, is a consistent negative character. She serves us with shocking lines and crude actions in her trademark sickly sweet style and is a revelation. She clearly stole the show.

Overall the film is peppered with predictable events and some un-required dances. How they dole out punishment is fun to watch. Released at an appropriate time, it just may meet with an audience who appreciates it in parts.

Happy Women’s Day!