The sky is pink (2019)

One of the best films in 2019, the story of the movie had caught the pulse of the audience from the beginning.

Based on the true life story of Aisha Chaudhary, it chronicles the before, after and the beautiful and challenging in between.

Stellar performances by Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Zaira Wasim and Rohit Saraf, capturing nuances of a real family, talking about things in a candid and meaningful way.

Shonali Bose had her own story to tell through this directorial, handling a sensitive subject beautifully.

A must watch before the year ends.



Isn’t it Romantic (2019)

This film turns Rebel Wilson’s single and uneventful life into a montage of all romantic comedies, making us relive our favourite moments through the eyes of a cynic.

It provides the laughs and nostalgia with enough funny sequences and decent characters in Liam Hemsworth, Priyanka Chopra and Adam DeVine.

Enjoy the romantic comedy that doesn’t want to be one!


Jungle Book (2016) Hindi version

Jungle Book – Hindi version : I am happy I saw the English version first, because the Hindi one had more humour. Had I seen it first, the English one would have seemed flat. Irrfan as Baloo was hilarious! His punjabi accent and comic timing gave depth to the character. Thoroughly enjoyed it! Priyanka Chopra as Kaa was perfect. Her voice has the right ‘hypnotic’ effect. There is nothing this girl can’t do. Om Puri as Bagheera was pitch perfect and Nana Patekar as Shere Khan was menacing. Shefali Shah as Raksha was strong yet nurturing. Bugs Bhargava Krishna does the voice of King Louie in a dramatic Anglo/Hindi style. The artist who has done Mowgli’s voice is appropriate. The only thing missing was the song ‘Jungle Jungle baat chali hai’. It could have easily been incorporated as the music for the End credits. That would have been complete entertainment for the Indian cinema goer. The film and all its dubbed versions has already crossed 100 crores. An equal, if not better watch!


Jai Gangajal (2016)

Make way for a new hero! Prakash Jha, director of hard hitting reality films makes a strong debut in his film, cleverly putting Priyanka Chopra as lead, covering many issues between the both of their characters who are part of the same team.

The film essentially offers nothing new, but more of a revision of sorts. A reminder what our system is like. And that, I feel is very important. The anarchy and total lack of law in smaller towns and rural areas, the plight of farmers, the politics of capitalism and the level of corruption in the police force are all explored.

Priyanka shines as SP Abha. She carries the film on her slender shoulders, and Jha ensures she doesn’t get caught up in stereotypes and delivers justice. She is a good strong cop. Jha shows energy and solid strength, not going over board yet communicating his loyalty and angst.

When we see evil getting punished and the righteous doing their work well, we get a sense of control and balance. Such films work as regular reminders because we lack the same in reality, living out the ‘way life should be’ through film. Mob mentality and lynching is condemned, an important message.

Such films are a necessary part of life in India and are enjoyed mainly for the sense of justice that prevails. We feel good and hopeful, and for that they should keep making them.


Bajirao Mastani (2015)

Master story teller and aesthetic genius Sanjay Leela Bhansali finally presents his long nurtured dream on celluloid. For fans of the director, and the cast, the wait was worth it.

Bajirao is played surprisingly well by a solid Ranveer Singh, who has mastered the accent and developed a body language which is believable and appropriate. He balances being the deft leader of an army, a devoted family man and a doomed lover.

Mastani, a warrior princess, an ethereal beauty of Persian descent, who else could play it but the girl with the magical touch? She can do no wrong, and this time, Deepika Padukone mesmerises us with the grace of royalty and the fierceness of a soldier. A talented danseuse aside, she emotes mainly with her eyes, speaking volumes on love, strength and pain. Kashibai, full of dignity that befits the ‘First Lady’, has the trickiest role.

Priyanka Chopra has the edge of a senior artist and shows us another mastery of accent and gestures, the other side of the spectrum from ‘Quantico’. She has a tough act of balancing herself in the face of her husband’s new love and political turmoil, which she does with a stoic humility.

The director has used dialgoue sparingly in the film, as actions and ambience speak the unspoken. Great care is taken for no scene or emotion to be melodramatic. Instead they are understated to make a far greater impression.

Costumes by Anju Modi weave their own story, while the sets and the mood is earthy, opulent, muted yet grand. The Aaina Mahal will be remembered for the resonance with its historic counterpart and its spellbinding magnificence. Bhansali has stepped way out of his comfort zone with his colour pallette. His adept treatment of war, romance, drama and politics, and the music as well, makes him a complete director.

A supporting but stellar cast comprises of many members, but the one that shines the most is Tanvi Azmi, who plays Radhabai, Bajirao’s mother, who has an impact with just her presence. Her actions are pivotal and her acting is flawless. Milind Soman has a short but important role, with one influential speech which he delivers effectively. Mahesh Manjrekar, Aditya Pancholi, Vaibbhav Tatwawdi support the drama.

Undoubtedly this year’s best film, it ticks all the boxes. It’s not heart wrenching like Mughal-E-Azam, but will choke you for sure. To be enthralled by music, grandeur and emotion, witness a movie which recreates history to become part of it.


Bajirao Mastaani…
Two lovers united by one sword…
Touching the breadth and depth of cinematic extravagance…
Will share more once I have processed the beauty and majesty of my experience…

Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)

It’s holiday time and the destination is ‘human relationships’. The ever falling and rising of the waves and changing landscapes mirror the complex weave of the Mehra family, who take us on a cruise which turns inward.

At 170 minutes it prepares you for the long haul but it doesn’t seem so. You have a back ground score which relaxes the tension, you have characters which are developed to a depth and breadth rarely seen and you have an adorable narrator.

Having played Ranveer’s beau in Gunday, Priyanka has beautifully transitioned as his sibling in this film. Not only is she sensitive and understated but powerful as well. Ranveer plays the young under achiever with abandon, while Anil Kapoor the male chauvinist and Shefali his silently suffering, Delhi society wife. The family is a reflection of a typical wealthy North Indian set up, but there is much more substance. Not about designer wear or artificial projection of wealth, but classy, elegant and focusing on the issues that lie within.

We have Farhan, Anushka, Rahul Bose, Zarina Wahab providing able support, amongst a host of other characters. But it is the story and writing (by Zoya, Farhan and Javed Akhtar) that deserves special mention. From tense to chill out to comedy to love, they excel in all (pun intended).

The feelings of love are rekindled, romance is handled in a fresh light. Vulnerability is shown differently and so is the breakdown of relationships and the consequent mending. Nothing seems forced or farcical, it’s real family drama which you get to witness at a leisurely but not boring pace.

The film is rich visually, sweeping views which are breathtaking. Director Zoya Akhtar should take a bow for handling such a complex drama, while presenting it lightly and giving ample development to all her key characters and making the film about the contemporary family.

The one shot ‘gallan goodiyaan’ song is my favourite 🙂


Mary Kom (2014)

Attempting a biopic for ‘Magnificent Mary’ was a bold move. It is about a girl from Manipur who became a boxing legend against all odds and made the country proud. Not only following her professional career, the director, Omung Kumar, has given us equal insights into her personal life. He makes a thumping debut after being art director for projects such as ‘Black’, ‘Saawariya’ and many others.  

Her struggles seemed difficult as a single person, as wife and mother, they increased ten-fold. But our Mary Kom is a fighter and we have only one talent who could portray her. Priyanka Chopra. From the first scene, to the last fight, she embodies the spirit of Mary Kom and all Indian women who fight to pursue their passion, raise families as well as be dutiful daughters. A constant battle inside the ring and outside as well! The result? Two hours of pow wow that will knock your socks off!

Priyanka is not the big star, but the ‘angry young girl’ with an endearing accent and speech, who stumbles upon ‘Coach Sir’ who reluctantly trains her. Noted Nepali actor Sunil Thapa plays the stern coach who whips her into controlled action. Onler Kom is her supporter, admirer and eventually her husband. The role is confidently played by debut actor Darshan Kumar, who was every bit the ‘man behind the successful woman’. The old adage goes to show that either gender needs the unending support of their spouse to succeed.

Of course such a story needs an ensemble cast to succeed. Her parents, siblings, peers, friends and town folk create a space where we root for every fight and share her every struggle. They walk the tight rope when they show her relationship with her father. Never becoming melodramatic, they show her angst and frustration beautifully.

Parallels will be drawn to ‘Chak de’ and ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, but besides getting a new ‘sports theme song’ we see some excellent shots in the ring and very crisp editing by Rajesh G. Pandey and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is also the creative director. If you thought he always needed larger than life sets and costumes to show his story, here you will see his trademark style in the most humble backdrop.

Story / Screenplay writer Saiwyn Quadras creates a ‘square world’ where he doesn’t leave room for any competition for his team. Witty one-liners and serious dialogue by Karan Singh Rathore and Ramendra Vasishth give a balance to the tense audience. Team Mary Kom, this year will get you all the accolades, awards and maybe even medals. Priyanka will kick ass!

The content will punch you. It grips the breath, hearts and minds of the audience! Bravo!


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.


Krrish 3 (2013)

Let’s clear the rationale behind making sci-fi or super hero movies in India. Indian audiences have given large business to the recent Iron Man, Super Man, Avengers etc, in English and more so in the dubbed versions across the country.

So we are sure smaller cities and towns will have people who will appreciate the new Krrish. But as we all know, largely our viewers are spoiled, and may need some help with the story, so the film starts with a recap of the last two films. It makes you realise they were more original and with better music, but that is probably a calculated move, though not a good one.

Parts of the film are laughable, parts are commendable. The special effects have definitely set a good standard for an Indian film, but still lack the finesse of Hollywood movies. They enjoy larger budgets, which is where our films fall short I guess.

We have mutants or ‘maanvars’, a villain who is not menacing enough, sorry Vivek, you tried your best, a super hero who doesn’t bring anything new to the table, not even a new expression. Kangana had a good crisp role, Priyanka danced around with some good scenes. Hrithik Senior was more effective than his Junior counterpart.

The stock ‘emotional scene’, the stock ‘secular song’, the stock ‘super hero in us all’ were all plugged in for our benefit. Not to mention the ‘Raghupati Raghav’ song, a track played in a party which should have been put in the credits. Why stuff songs in when they are not required? The only song which made sense and was beautifully shot was Alisha Chinoy’s ‘Dil tu hi bata’.

We had many scientific and plot premises which were well constructed and used. Harry Potter fans will immediately identify with one of the key gadgets. The end gives us a mash-up of Silver Surfer, Iron Man, Super Man, Hulk type scenes, with special effects that still require finishing.

If your kids insist you take them for the film, then you must. It could work to your advantage and they would skip Krrish 4 which could be in the offing. I think Rakesh Roshan should put this concept to rest, as the current offering seemed rushed to make it for Diwali. A cohesive, well edited film is what we were expecting, but of course we were disappointed.

I think super hero movies were effectively ruined for Indians when Aamir Khan uttered those iconic words, ‘Gogo ji aapka ghagra’.