Qarib Qarib Singlle

What is the movie about? :: Jaya Sashidharan (Parvathy), a Keralite based in the city of Mumbai, spends her time alone, both at home and at office, as she has only a few friends, and has been a widow for about ten years. After so many years of lone life, and not listening to anyone who tells her to marry or get a boyfriend, she finally decides to have a look at an online dating website at the age of thirty five. After being bombarded by so many ridiculous comments by so many men, she finally comes across Yogi (Irrfan Khan) who is interested in poetry and has his own special style, making his case very different from the rest. She is careful about him and understands that both of them are different from each other in so many ways, but decides to go with him to meet three of his ex-girlfriends so that he could understand more about him as a person.

And what is to follow in this particular adventure? :: As part of this long adventure, the two has to travel through Haridwar, Bikaner and Gangtok. But there is one particular fact about Yogi, and it is that he is a carefree person who takes no responsibility on his shoulders – he doesn’t work even after passing engineering, but has written poetry in his mother tongue, and also speaks not much of English. This leads to him missing his flight and getting on the wrong train, and creating a few other situations. Meanwhile, Jaya who has identified herself as Jayashree TK, is fluent in English, and needs everything to go as planned. At their first location itself, they do become good friends, but going past that might be a little difficult, but who knows where some paths can lead? Well, strange things do happen, especially in love and war!

The defence of Qarib Qarib Singlle :: You will find the changes in this movie as a lot refreshing, and a fine thing which is away from the usual Bollywood model. The movie feels real with its incidents and emotions, and never really jumps into that fountain of melodrama which has kept the industry buried alive in a coffin from which there was never supposed to a chance of return, and it is a situation that could be termed as a sadistic thing of terrible beauty if we take a look at things as an outsider. Yes, the fans have always enjoyed the same, as it is what they have always been trying to do, but when we are outside that thought process of becoming addicted to a celebrity who has enough strength to become a parasite on the common man, throwing nonsense and grabbing money, we want the change. Qarib Qarib Singlle is surely that divergence from the regular path, and has fun moments in its realistic world having people who come up with no wonders in love, and are good at heart, not in their muscles, clothes or freaky singing and dancing in a party or pub.

The claws of flaw :: Some people can consider Qarib Qarib Singlle to be a little slow for their liking, but thanks to the smaller length, things get better. People who want less simplicity, and go for that colourful jump mode new generation romance in a pub calling for party, can also skip this one, as the movie calls more for the combined audience of family and youth. You can actually agree to the fact that there could be more comic sequences in this flick, and the journeys to different places could have also been more beautiful with the local scenery captured further along with what all are already there. All those characters other than the two protagonists never really get to do much here, and there is no development of the background as one would expect to be there. The reason for the movie’s journey would also seem a little strange for many. More could have been thus developed with the setting itself too.

Performers of the soul :: There is no stopping Irrfan Khan, and it is a proven fact. It was a few months back that I had come across Hindi Medium, and realized that how much this man had elevated it above the Malayalam version with the same theme, Salt Mango Tree. There is something that he brings on the big screen every time, and we cannot keep ourselves away from it. While Bollywood has been bringing nonsense in the name of keeping the audience entertained with masala, he was there with movies like The Lunchbox, Talvaar and Madaari. Here, he delivers two sides of a character with ease, as the funny side as well as another side with a certain depth in his ideology, arrives safely here. With no fake image of a hero being built, he becomes the everyman character, speaking a little too much, and doing a little more than a usual person, but doing all of them with such perfection which you will find difficult to find with any superstar who depends on his or her fans to sing blind praise.

Further performers of the soul :: While Irrfan Khan’s character maintains a certain amount of mystery as we come across him only after Parvathy’s character decides to go on to meet him, the latter gets a clear personality to work with, right from the beginning. She has worked with it with such skill that one can easily understand that she is one step ahead of almost everyone with that “superstar” title on head, which all try to hold on to. Still, the question remains if Bollywood is worthy enough or at least ready to have a heroine like her, who won’t jump into that masala stuff which provides a heroine with so less to work with that she is reduced to an eye candy. Into a world which is full of “actors or actresses who are related to someone in the industry”, she thrives with her performance rather than anything else, as she did this year with the amazing upgrade to Airlift, known as Take Off, and earlier with Charlie and Ennu Ninte Moideen. Here is one Bollywood debut of quality.

How it finishes :: A long way ahead of the usual romantic flick that Bollywood has been providing us, and also racing ahead of many overrated dumb romance from many languages which got only some ridiculous party songs, pub dance and meaningless infatuation for the audience, Qarib Qarib Singlle makes a point. It shows exactly how a fine romantic feel-good movie can be made, without those unnecessary elements appreciated by a certain group of half-witted audience who should be held responsible for Bollywood having so many low quality hundred crore movies with content not worthy of even being made a short-film – such cases are better suited only for an alien world which has no scope for brain development. If you prefer movies with aversion for clothes being at the same high level as the disinclination for making something sensible, do not bother, and go back to your usual world and continue watching what you call “cool”. Sometimes, the audience becomes the villain to an industry.

Release date: 11th November 2017
Running time: 125 minutes
Directed by: Tanuja Chandra
Starring: Irrfan Khan, Parvathy, Bajrangbali Singh, Anud Singh Dhaka, Neha Dhupia, Brijendra Kala, Luke Kenny, Siddharth Menon, Pushtii Shakti, Isha Sharvani

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Jolly LLB 2

Vampire Owl: I know this Jolly fellow. He was so jolly.

Vampire Bat: It is not that Jolly, but this one can be quite jolly too.

Vampire Owl: So, we have a sequel which has another Jolly, who is also a jolly fellow.

Vampire Bat: Yes, instead of Jagdish Tyagi, we have Jagdishwar Mishra. But we call them both Jolly.

Vampire Owl: That explains the change of cast. But then, this won’t be a real sequel.

Vampire Bat: Yes, but this is the second story of a Jolly, and it is just that it is another Jolly.

Vampire Owl: This is rather confusing with two of them being called the same name, despite having different names.

Vampire Bat: Well, this movie actually happens after the first, and we get a mention about the first movie by the character of the judge.

Vampire Owl: It would have still be nice if at least one person of the two was called Jaggu.

Vampire Bat: Well, these humans have a strange way of naming people again and again.

[Gets three cups of special tea with Tiger biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: Jagdishwar Mishra a.k.a. Jolly (Akshay Kumar) is a lawyer who wishes to make it big as a lawyer, but with his chances a long way away, works as an assistant to one of the most famous lawyers of Lucknow, Rizvi Sahab (Ram Gopal Bajaj) at Lucknow. Jolly is not considered as a lawyer who can go the distance, as he is the son of the man hailing from Kanpur who was only an assistant for his whole career, and Jolly himself doesn’t have his own chamber even after trying so hard. A pregnant lady, Hina Siddiqui (Sayani Gupta) spends most of his time in and around court area, trying to convince any of the well-known lawyers to take up the case of his husband. She begs Jolly to make his senior lawyer to accept her case. With the need there to get two lakhs for the final payment of his chamber, Jolly lies to her that the senior lawyer has agreed to take her case, and a sum of two lakhs need to be paid as soon as possible, to which she agrees.

So, what happens next? :: After getting the money from her, Jolly inaugurates his new chamber on the day of Holi in style with his wife Pushpa Pandey (Huma Qureshi) and the rest of his well-wishers. But Hina who finds out about the same, reaches there and creates a scene. Jolly tells her that he intended to return the money after this was done, but she tells him that he should have also rejected her appeal, as everyone else, instead of cheating her – she returns home and commits suicide. Everyone including his own father blames Jolly for causing the death of a pregnant woman. Jolly is unable to sleep or think properly with Hina’s death in his mind. With the help of his friend and lawyer Birbal (Rajiv Gupta), he decides to filed a public interest litigation to get justice for Hina and her husband, something which was to be his biggest challenge in life.

And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: Jolly understands that the case about Hina’s husband Iqbal Qasim (Manav Kaul) was regarding his fake encounter by Police Inspector Suryaveer Singh (Kumud Mishra) on the very next day after their wedding, which brought him promotion. Iqbal was arrested by the police under the suspicion that he was an Islamic terrorist who reached the place from Jammu and Kashmir, and the same was confirmed later, and he is supposed to have shot a police constable while trying to escape, and the cop had died in the hospital later. The truth though, is that Suryaveer just shot him to make the encounter look more genuine, and by mistake he had ended up dead. Worried that he was going to land in big trouble, Suryaveer then hires his good friend and Lucknow’s best lawyer Pramod Mathur (Annu Kapoor), to take up his case, also paying fifty lakhs for the same. Can Jolly go against all odds to win the case and bring justice?

The defence of Jolly LLB 2 :: It is not that easy to work well with court-room drama movies and make them work, especially as things tend to get dull with the setting at the same place, and people tending to repeat the same thing again and again, but Jolly LLB 2, just like its predecessor, manages to be entertaining in more than one way. Well, the scenes inside the court are the best moments of the movie without doubt. We are so interested in knowing what happens by the end of the movie, that we find it difficult to move from the seat. The movie balances the comic side with the edge of the seat moments really well, and we get to see Akshay Kumar doing an amazing job as the protagonist who struggles to make it big. Saurabh Shukla brings the fun in between, and Sayani Gupta makes a heavy impact even with those lesser number of scenes. Huma Qureshi’s work is limited, but she does fine when she is there.

The claws of flaw :: There is the presence of those unnecessary songs and dance sequences which seem to make hardly any impact. The movie is also not without its ups and downs, and gets to the next level only later in the first half. There should also be questions about the way the truth is brought to light in this one, and you will also feel that some sequences are brought to us in such a way that the purpose is more to take melodrama higher rather than anything else. We feel that the innocence and simplicity of the first movie is not that much there in this one – we know how much that movie had raised the expectations so well. The audience also wonders if all of these, or at least most of these is actually possible inside a court. I am sure that this movie could have had many more interesting moments with some more divergence too. Also Huma Qureshi and Sayani Gupta could have been there for more.

How it finishes :: Jolly LLB 2 can be considered as good a movie as its predecessor when we have a look at it as a whole. Last year, Akshay Kumar had Airlift and Rustom to do the job for him after Baby and Brothers while going back longer, and this year, it is Jolly LLB 2 so far. There is also something to think about with this one, as one wonders how significant is the common man when facing the rich and the influential, for everyone don’t keep getting the saviours in time. Jolly LLB 2 could be the best Bollywood movies of the year for many people, and is sure to be in the top ten for almost everyone who watches movies regularly. There have been similar interesting movies in Malayalam too with Yes Your Honour starring Sreenivasan and the next level of the same was the Suresh Gopi starrer Melvilasom – all these are the kind of movies which could be watched together for some good quality court-room drama.

Release date: 10th February 2017
Running time: 137 minutes
Directed by: Subhash Kapoor
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Huma Qureshi, Sayani Gupta, Annu Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla, Kaustubh Pile, Manav Kaul, Kumud Mishra, Inaamulhaq, Sanjay Mishra, Vinod Nagpal, Brijendra Kala, Avijit Dutt, Rajiv Gupta, Sunil Kumar Palwal, Shubhangi Latkar, Ram Gopal Bajaj

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Rustom

Vampire Owl: I have always loved those Akshay Kumar movies, not just now, but also during the early times of Khiladi.

Vampire Bat: Everyone loves Khiladi, or at least those earlier ones in the franchise.

Vampire Owl: Then, Baby, Brothers and Airlift in the last two years – it is too good.

Vampire Bat: I have heard people say that Rustom is even bigger than the rest.

Vampire Owl: What? Are you sure that you are sure about it?

Vampire Bat: You mean to ask that I am twice sure about the same?

Vampire Owl: Are you saying it because Akshay Kumar won the National Film Award for Best Actor for this particular movie?

Vampire Bat: No, the quality of this movie was already established.

Vampire Owl: Then, I would watch this one this midnight.

Vampire Bat: I don’t see why not.

[Gets three cups of special tea with Tiger biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: During the 1950s, an Indian Navy Officer named Rustom Pavri (Akshay Kumar), fell in love with, and is happily married to the beautiful young lady, Cynthia Pavri (Ileana D’Cruz). But it doesn’t go that smoothly as he discovers her affair with his friend and a very rich and influential playboy, Vikram Makhija (Arjan Bajwa), while returning from his deputation in the ship. Their servant Jamnabai (Usha Nadkarni) tells him that she hasn’t been home since yesterday, and has no idea when she will return. An angry and frustrated Rustom finds Vikram’s intense love letters to his wife, and also finds them together at Vikram’s place, much to his dismay. When Cynthia finally arrives home, Vikram shows her the letters and doesn’t let her explain. Instead, he storms out of the place, gets a pistol from the ship’s arms and ammunition, and makes a trunk call to Defense Secretary K. M. Bakshi (Kanwaljit Singh).

So, what happens next? :: Bhanabhai (Deepak Gheewala), Vikram’s servant hears three gunshots and goes to see him at his room, only to find his master dead in a pool of blood, with Rustom standing on the side with a gun. Rustom who walks out of there, surrenders at the local police station, to Inspector Vincent Lobo (Pawan Malhotra) who gets charge of the investigation of this particular murder. Vikram’s sister Priti Makhija (Esha Gupta) who is a very influential woman, with even bigger contacts than her brother, wants to have death sentence for Rustom, for which she is ready to do anything in her power. The biggest of punishments is the only thing that can make her any satisfaction, as she promises to make the man who killed her only brother, suffer the worst fate. Erich Billimoria (Kumud Mishra), the editor-in-chief of the local newspaper decides to help Rustom as he is part of the community, by continously bringing sympathetic news about him through his writings.

And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: The community itself tries to help him by bringing a reputed lawyer for him, but he decides to fight his case all by himself. He is even offered better facilities by the navy, which he also refuses. Meanwhile, his senior officer at the Navy, Rear Admiral Prashant Kamat (Parmeet Sethi) sends two people to find certain documents at his home, which they fail to do, as nothing like that is present there. Enraged by this, Rustom brings other plans for his fellow officers, and at the same time, pleads not guilty when in front of the Judge Patel (Anang Desai). Public Prosecutor Lakshman Khangani (Sachin Khedekar) is confident that he would win the case despite the newspaper siding with Rustom which leads to the public being with him. His confidence only increases with Rustom fighting the case by himself. But is there something more in Rustom’s mind which he doesn’t know about? Is he good enough to win the case without any help?

The defence of Rustom :: The movie’s biggest asset, without doubt is Akshay Kumar, and there is no doubt about how good he is – he has gone through three thrilling flicks, Baby, Brothers and Airlift, his performance in the first one being as good as his work here. Ileana D’Cruz is also very good, and we see everything working in favour of this movie. The supporting cast does the job very well, including Pawan Malhotra and Kumud Mishra who deserves the special mention. The thrills are present all the time, and we have twists coming through. How things take the u-turn more than one is worth watching again and again. We also have some nice humour in between. The songs are also to be loved, and heard again. There is also a dose of patriotism in this one. And this one is smart, and so, you will need the brain to work to get through this movie, and not the heart which is reserved for your favourite celebrities. Well, Rustom is the kind of movies that could replace those unrealistic movies from Bollywood very often, and it is the main reason why this entertaining ride which goes through a realistic side is more important than any of those overrated pathetic movies that get rather too popular.

The claws of flaw :: Rustom has a rather slow first half as it seems to be peacefully moving towards the interval, and we keep wondering where this tale that focuses on adultery will lead, but it is all to change later, as you would witness. One might also feel that there is a little too much righteousness added to the main character, and fictionalised events only help in making the protagonist even a better person, as the newspapers in the movie did too. Maybe, this movie could have gone deeper to explore the rather darker areas, and might have been able to deal with the emotional side in a more personal way too. The movie is also too much focused on one character, when there could have been bigger portraits of more interesting characters, who are around him. One also wonders why the hero is always in his uniform – is it how things work when a military officer is arrested? Well, we don’t know much about the same, and so can’t comment on it. Maybe a tale on the real incident without fiction will also come to the big screen some day, but in the end, how can we know the exact truth?

How it finishes :: Rustom is the kind of movie which gets unexpectedly strong, and when you least expect it to happen, the movie is firing from all cylinders. Inspired by a court case in 1959 about Naval Commander Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati was tried for the murder of Prem Ahuja, the alleged lover of his wife Sylvia – known as K. M. Nanavati vs State of Maharashtra, and with a highly fictionalised account of the incidents and what surrounds the same, Rustom shows how well things can work out with some good creativity, and a fine cast to go with the same. The incident is also known to have inspired the 1973 movie Achanak as well as the 1963 flick Yeh Rastey Hain Pyar Ke. But now, we have Rustom to remember related to incident rather than any other. Akshay Kumar also received the National Film Award for Best Actor at the 64th National Film Awards which were announced on the seventh of April this year – there is so much good talked about this movie, and you need to watch it at some point.

PS: Despicable Me 3 and Cars 3 attract the families this week.

Release date: 12th August 2016
Running time: 148 minutes
Directed by: Tinu Suresh Desai
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Ileana D’Cruz, Esha Gupta, Arjan Bajwa, Pavan Malhotra, Kumud Mishra, Usha Nadkarni, Sachin Khedekar, Anang Desai, Parmeet Sethi, Indraneel Bhattacharya, Kanwaljit Singh, Brijendra Kala, Gireesh Sahadev, Abhay Kulkarni, Varun Verma, Sammanika Singh, Deepak Gheewala, Ishteyak Khan, Naman Jain, Subhashis Chakraborty, Vipul K. Rawal, Suresh Sippy, Rajesh S. Khatri, Samir Shah, Haresh Khatri, Nagraj Manjule, Mohit Satyanand

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.