Raman Raghav 2.0

What is the movie about? :: The movie makes it clear that it is not about Raman Raghav a.k.a. Psycho Raman who was a famous serial killer, who unleashed terror in the city of Mumbai in the 1960s. About fifteen years later, another serial killer named Ramanna (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who seems to follow the same kind of methods, starts his work in the same city. His way of operating is rather strange, and the police has not much clue about what his operations are. His list of victims only get longer, and it also includes Ramanna’s own sister, Lakshmi (Amruta Subhash) who is living with her husband (Ashok Lokhande) and their only son. She reluctantly lets him stay and cooks him food, only to get into an argument with the family. She leaves the place and comes back to take their money as well as kill them all one after the other.

So, what happens next? :: Ramanna is not the kind of person who has any kind of remorse for his actions, and he is surely not the kind of man who thinks twice about what he is to do. He is the worst kind of serial killer whom one could have on their trail. Even after being caught by the police and questioned, there is nothing that comes out of him, and he even escapes with the help of some local boys, thanks to the natural acting that comes to him. ACP Raghavan Singh (Vicky Kaushal) is in charge of the investigation, and has no real clue until finding the photo of Ramanna on the scene of crime, where Ramanna had murdered his sister. He figures out that the man whom they had apprehended a few days earlier has some kind of connection with these brutal murders which have been happening all around the city, keeping the residents terrified.

And, what is to follow next in this tale of terror in the streets? :: Even as he puts a tough cop act all the time, and seems to be righteous cop looking after criminal when someone looks from outside, Raghavan Singh is a a troubled person in his mind, having an unparalleled addiction to drugs, and has an even more terrible anger management issue. He is in a relationship with Smrutika Naidu (Sobhita Dhulipala) at whose place she is staying. It is another terrible relationship that they are having, with him forcing her to have more than one abortion after she keeps getting pregnant as he has his way as he likes. He also has no shame in beating her, but she stays faithful to him, and refuses to go home even after her family hopes for her return. Raghavan gets obsessed with catching Ramanna to such an extent that his issues deepen, and Ramanna at the same time, keeps an eye on the investigating officer – where does this game end?

The defence of Raman Raghav 2.0 :: The dark and terrifying avatar is given more and more life as the movie progresses, and then there is the other side which gets rather scarier. You feel the power of darkness in this movie, and there is so much of energy throughout the flick, thanks to the two main performers. It successfully makes you depressed and leaves you disturbing, with not much hope in the world of chaos. Humanity is surely capable of terrible things, and a lot of these capabilities are there right from the beginning, and are further powered by upbringing and the society. We keep wondering what is to happen next, and we are always interested to know how it all ends, or reach a new beginning. It takes only one serial killer to inspire more, and lets hope that Ramanna becomes our Hannibal to bring more of such movies which can prove to be even better. The final twist is something that breathes life like no other.

The claws of flaw :: There is no doubt that we had expected more from a movie like Raman Raghav 2.0 with its cast and the people who are the helm. We feel that a certain amount of hollowness do exist at times, and this one isn’t that much focused on what we would have been hoping to see with a police officer after a serial killer – this one has almost nothing about the investigation about the murderer. More focus could have been on the characters, and they could have had origin tales, even at the cost of the movie going longer – there are some parts of the movie which could have been cut down to provide space for more of the tale. This kind of movies should have more action, thrilling sequences and deeper story-line which should make us wish to remember the tale more than once; but the focus of Raman Raghav 2.0 seems to be rather a little too much divergent. Then there is the violence – nobody is a role model here.

Performers of the soul :: There is Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vicky Kaushal doing a fantastic job in this movie, which surely keeps things going strong. We keep wondering when we will see more of them with movies which get the wider release here. If it was more about the former in the beginning, the latter of Masaan fame takes it to the next level in the second half towards the end. You will also notice Sobhita Dhulipala and Amruta Subhash, as two actresses who brings some great performances in two of the best sequences of the movie. The one thing about Bollywood is that these names which are not regularly talked about as superstars are the real actors and acting stars – I really hope that their movies get release in every theatre here rather than those which brings the crowd; if I was running a theatre, I would run a special show for sure, no matter how much of box-office collection such movies are to bring.

How it finishes :: The movie leaves one with the message that everyone has the tendency to be bad, or rather evil, as it is the inherent evil in man which has more certainty to it than anything else. It is the situation that brings the worst out of people, whether they are branded good or bad. The hopeless state of humanity is directly or indirectly reflected in this movie, which struggles to find goodness which seems to fade away further and further as the flick progresses, and by the end of this, we have lost almost all hope in mankind – it is the ultimate truth, right? We do our best, and still we live in a society which is all about money and power, and the need for it as well as the possession of it, will only turn more people against each other. Evil is so easy, right? Being good is so difficult, especially with a new generation caught inside more than one kind of addiction. Raman Raghav 2.0 has that kind of protagonists, and we know that there is a good chance that we are all going to die an early, terrible death considering where the world is going.

Release date: 24th June 2016
Running time: 127 minutes
Directed by: Anurag Kashyap
Starring: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vicky Kaushal, Sobhita Dhulipala, Amruta Subhash, Vipin Sharma, Ashok Lokhande, Harssh A. Singh, Anuschka Sawhney, Hitesh Dave, Rajesh Jais, Kalidas Parthitan, Rhea Pagar, Arun Singh

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Te3n

te3n (2)

Vampire Owl :: Remakes and remakes – this trend is going on and on…

Vampire Bat :: This one is an official remake though, with the copyrights for the movie officially purchased from the South Korean thriller Montage, as mentioned.

Vampire Owl :: I would give extra points for that. What I really don’t like are those blind copies without telling anybody else.

Vampire Bat :: Like when you hear that Ek Villain is from I Saw the Devil and Zinda from Oldboy?

Vampire Owl :: Yes, a fair remake is the right remake.

Vampire Bat :: That makes us choose this movie other the others for the weekend.

Vampire Owl :: The fact that we are not watching The Conjuring 2 this weekend will be highly disappointing to Uncle Dracula.

Vampire Bat :: And the fact that we won’t be watching Warcraft can even trigger an Orc invasion on the Vampire Lands.

Vampire Owl :: We need to warn the rest of the team immediately! After watching the movie, of course!

Vampire Bat :: Lets go and check how well the remade thriller stands then!

[Gets the tickets with some cheese popcorn and vegetable puffs].

What is it about? :: John Biswas (Amitabh Bachchan) is an old man who visits the police station almost every day much to the dismay of Sarita Sarkar (Vidya Balan) who tells him that there is no point in doing that for a case which was investigated eight years ago. John is looking to find the kidnapper and murderer of his granddaughter who was abducted by a man who demanded twenty lakhs, but even after the money was delivered, he didn’t get the girl alive. He keeps trying to find the man who is responsible for the same, and keeps searching for clues despite his ill health, making his wheel chair ridden wife Nancy Biswas (Padmavati Rao) a lot worried. Another disheartened person is Inspector Martin Das (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who joined the seminary and has become a priest, trying to make spiritual amends for his inability to save the kidnapped little girl, Angela.

So what happens next? :: John knows that police will no longer proceed with the same case, and so he asks the help of the new priest, Father Martin Das, but he himself asks John to let go and try to attend the church services some time as one has to accept things as they are, when nothing comes out of the struggle. Martin doesn’t want to be reminded of his guilt of not doing a better job with the case, but things take a twist when another kid is abducted. The way of kidnapping this boy is the same as what happened with Angela, and he is consulted by the police for he was so close in catching the culprit last time. Despite the initial hesitation, he decides to help Sarita with the case. There are no suspects here though, just the hope that the kidnapper can be outsmarted this time, unlike what had happened with the case of Angela. Martin will have his second chance here, but is he good enough for it this time?

The defence of Te3n :: There are a number of movies which Te3n reminds you of, with its style – one of them is the Malayalam movie Memories, and another one is the earlier thriller featuring Amitabh Bachchan – Wazir. There is the deep feeling of sadness prevailing in all these movies, and there is one hurt police officer in each of these. The sadness is the first thing that gets you, with the two main characters hoping against hope, one to find the evil, and the other to keep himself from evil. The emotions are deep, even though not shown on the screen as some terrible Bollywood melodrama; the rest comes later. The intensity goes to a higher level and thrills get stronger, and the suspense is maintained till the end. With some power-packed performances and beautiful visuals, this one touches emotions and also becomes an interesting thriller. When people die, it is the living that suffers the most, and we feel that abiding sadness throughout this movie.

The claws of flaw :: The movie does take some time to get into its thrilling side, and it also doesn’t follow the usual Bollywood style – neither in drama or with its thriller side; it won’t be the movie for the usual masala fans, that is for sure. There is no super-cop here, and we have just the worried people hoping to go through this problem in front of them. The movie could have actually used its central idea with bigger twists, and even though they are there, the big shock isn’t there. Still, there could have been a better flow to the proceedings. The situation demanded things to go straight, rather than depending too much on the flashbacks which arrive at times when they were not required – the time-line of the movie surely could have used some work. A little bit of polishing here and there – maybe that was all that this movie really needed to make it rise a level up, and a certain funny side was there to be taken – but that is left untouched.

Performers of the soul :: Amitabh Bachchan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui completely steals the show there. The former plays a character that reminds us of the one he played in Wazir, helpless against the person who killed his child, but finds a way, and is also friends with a police officer who is also going through a case of depression. With his wife in a wheel chair, riding all around hopelessly on an old scooter that starts at occasions, bothering the cops and doing all his household activities by himself, the legendary actor plays a character whose sadness and never-dying hope is the first thing that we feel, and it will stir our emotions like nothing else. He makes us feel everything; for John Biswas is a simple common man looking for justice with hope. The latter goes through another path of his particular character though, as Martin Das looks to accept things by turning into spirituality. This character is strong in his hands, as he looks well-suited for both sides of Martin. Vidya Balan is left with a lesser role though.

How it finishes :: A comparison with the original can’t be made here, as I am sure that a lot of people haven’t watched the South Korean thriller. But it is surely better than the usual stuff that Bollywood has provided in the name of entertainment, which is why people who don’t feel the need to use the brains here, are to be warned from watching this particular flick. The idea is already proved working with an original work which seems to have had a nice reception. The one doubt that people had to have was about how the adaptation would work in an Indian scenario, and I am pretty sure that this has been remade well enough – I don’t doubt the fact that it could have been even better, still this is what we require, and not that mass masala entertainers. When we watch and support movies like this one, that becomes the inspiration for better thrillers to be made, maybe even original ones!

Release date: 10th June 2016
Running time: 136 minutes
Directed by: Ribhu Dasgupta
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vidya Balan, Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Padmavati Rao

te3n

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Bajrangi Bhaijaan

BajrangiBhaijaan (2)

Vampire Owl :: How come you decided to watch this movie all of a sudden?

Vampire Bat :: There is too much hate all around. I thought I could escape from it through whichever movie that proclaims universal brotherhood.

Vampire Owl :: But we don’t officially trust these kind of movies.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, I have been reading the hate messages on social networking sites. People need movies like this to bring down the hate.

Vampire Owl :: But are you sure about this choice of movie?

Vampire Bat :: Yes, mostly because I don’t see any other. The reviews are also positive like the box-office collections.

Vampire Owl :: Whatever the collections are, I hope this one collects more than the depressing things like Krrish 3, Dhoom 3 and Chennai Express.

Vampire Bat :: Lets see what we can get from this one to contribute to the reviews.

Vampire Owl :: Yes, I hope that you are right about this one.

Vampire Bat :: Well, even the Vampire Oracle has favoured me on this choice.

[Gets the tickets].

What is it about? :: Pawan Kumar Chaturvedi a.k.a Bajrangi (Salman Khan) has a love story going on with Rasika (Kareena Kapoor), and as he is considered not good enough for anything, he got to prove his worth to her father (Sharat Saxena) with six months left. He has been traditionally declared as such a failure that his first success brought a heart attack to his father. Meanwhile, Shahida (Harshaali Malhotra), a speech-impaired little girl from Pakistan gets lost in India during a pilgrimage trip and ends up with him because she had to get down from the train and do a “Mary had a little lamb”. As everyone comes to know that she from Pakistan after she claps with a Pakistani win over India in a cricket match, he decides to get her to Pakistan in one way or the other. But he might have to break more than a few rules for the same.

The defence of Bajrangi Bhaijaan :: Strong in its messages and emotions, Bajrangi Bhaijaan does manage to keep people positively interested in the movie. The elements which would please the crowd and even bring them to tears are interestingly intertwined to create a nice effect in totality. There is comedy added here and there and a light tone is maintained. The actions scenes are less, but are there to make sure that the usual crowd will like the stuff. The visuals are very nice, and the second half does have a big advantage over the first because of getting rid of the silliness, and the ending, even though a little overdone, is okay and the movie finishes off with an emotional touch which seemed to be very much enjoyed by the audience in the theatre. The performances led by Salman Khan and the little kid also work very well.

The claws of flaw :: The movie is still old wine in a new bottle up-to an extent. The story is something rooted in many others of the past, and even with the current changes, the soul remains the same. Yes, there is more care taken in how certain things are managed here, but the melodrama comes up at times, and some jokes are not really effective either. The plot is just ordinary, and it is treated with all those which could make an impact on the audience. The love for truth displayed by the main character is rather overdone, and so are those songs, among which none makes an impression. The chicken song was rather too irritating. The romantic angle is completely out of order, and the flashback in the bus was the lowest point of the movie. There are also too many predictable events happening in the first half and things are not that much believable. Well, the end does justify the means up-to an extent.

Performers of the soul :: My favourite movie from Kabir Khan remain the more realistic Kabul Express. Salman Khan continues to bring the crowds into the theatres, and along with the same, he manages this character with skill. Even though the character becomes just “the good brother”, he has given the same some interesting moments which are going to stay in the minds of the viewers. Harshaali Malhotra, the kid remains the big star of this movie, and she is the one making the biggest impact, as one would expect; that too with no words spoken. Kareena Kapoor was totally unnecessary in this movie and so was the whole sub-plot related to her, but she does okay here. Nawazuddin Siddiqui provides great support.

Soul exploration :: The message of universal brotherhood is nicely used here. There has been too much hate going on these days, and if you look on the social media, it is crystal clear. The movie gives a lesson about how important it is to love the others beyond the borders, with respect for other religions, races and traditions. Patriotism and nationalism shouldn’t be about hating people of other nations. People should be free to support any nation when a sporting event is happening. Cricket is not a test of hate-based patriotism. The right patriotism should be about love for one’s country and not based on hate. It should be about working for the development of the nation and not to tarnish its image by intolerance and prejudice. At a time when even state-based hate is propagated and even dogs have better status than humans, can one hope for a better situation?

How it finishes :: People have been actually judging this movie by its title. I have actually heard people saying no to the movie due to the same. I don’t know about the Bollywood audience, but it has given a strange feeling in this part of the world. So, it is not easy to guess why I had almost nobody local in the theatre. People judge a movie by its title, but this movie is a fair watch. It is nowhere near perfect, but is enough to provide an entertaining and emotional ride. With its core, what it reminds me of, is about Picket 43, a movie about the relationship between two soldiers on the two sides of the border – there is no relation with the stories, but in the soul, both seems to have a similar connection, of people and their families.

Release date: 17th July 2015
Running time: 159 minutes
Directed by: Kabir Khan
Starring: Salman Khan, Harshaali Malhotra, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Kareena Kapoor, Meher Vij, Najeem Khan, Kamlesh Gill, Om Puri, Sharat Saxena, Alka Kaushal, Adnan Sami, Atul Srivastava

BajrangiBhaijaan

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.