Gehraiyaan (2022)

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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

Waiting (2016)

A very devastating subject is tackled head on in this sensitive but matter of fact film. Director Anu Menon serves us the harsh truth, curt and upfront, without giving much chance to recover or prepare.

Kalki and Naseer cleverly represent different stages of the grieving process, and also differing adaptation to the never ending tunnel of ‘waiting’ for their loved ones to recover. Their characters are full of insights of a reality which asks us to face our worst fears. Rajat Kapoor has a tricky role to play which shows us the plight of doctors. They are human, making them as imperfect as any of us. Let’s throw in the reality of who is actually there for you in your difficult time and voila! You have some very insane truths to digest!

The most difficult questions with no answers. A heart wrenching film!

3/5

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.

3/5

Dedh Ishqiya (2014)

Khalujaan and babban are back, not with a vengeance but with the 7 stages of love. While the chemistry and ‘loyalty’ between the Naseer and Arshad was the highlight in the first film, here it provides the comic relief.

If ‘Ishqiya’ was raw and rural in its appeal, this film is the stark opposite with beautiful Urdu poetry and Lucknowi manners. But I wish they would have retained the utter twisted nature and punches that were thrown at the audience in Ishqiya, in this one too. Here we were stabbed, but with a nawabi etiquette.  

Madhuri enchants with her dance and beauty. Her character has various shades, suits her age and her diction of the lyrical Urdu is perfect. Huma as Muniya is the raw woman who actually makes a man doubt his manhood. Together they make a sensual team who are a force to reckon with for our fraud duo.

The true hero though, of this film, is the authenticity. From the location, to the sets, the costume, dialogue, the colour palette and music, everything is original and transports you to an era where the story and its characters are not only believable, but comical too. The plot unfolds slowly, the language shocks, entertains and romances the audience, while we know there is more to the niceties than meets the eye.

Director Abhishek Chaubey, Producer/Dialogue writer Vishal Bhardwaj and Lyricist Gulzar get full points to create the ambiance, which is peppered by manipulation, love, lust and revenge.

3/5