Noor

Vampire Owl: The only Noor I know is from the 1997 Malayalam movie, Chandralekha.

Vampire Bat: That character was Nooruddin.

Vampire Owl: Yes, but saying the name will be like asking for a hundred rupees.

Vampire Bat: It doesn’t matter. If you get one hundred rupees, keep it.

Vampire Owl: But what would I do with human money in our realm?

Vampire Bat: Well, you can start a coin museum. We already have different kinds of museums and one more will do nicely.

Vampire Owl: That is surely not a bad idea. My zombie minions can always do with some extra business when not trying to take over the world.

Vampire Bat: Isn’t it yet proven that they can’t take over the world at all?

Vampire Owl: No, because I have taught them to be positive in their life, or rather in their undead existence.

Vampire Bat: Now I know what is going wrong with a few brainless zombies.

[Gets three cups of strong tea with Mariegold biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: Noor Roy Chaudhary (Sonakshi Sinha) is a girl in her late twenties, worried about so many things, and her weight being more than her Twitter followers is just one of them. She feels that she is the step-daughter of her father, and the cat Dimpy is the real child, as he cares a lot for the cat. She feels that there is nothing good going on in her life, as she spends most of her time in the traffic, and can’t afford anything much, with her salary being lesser than what she has been spending in the last few months – the potholes meant that she had to keep changing the tyres of her Tata Nano, and she also ends up quitting smoking to cut the costs. Her job as a journalist has her disappointed all the time, as she thinks that she is more of a joker than a journalist. She keeps sending her resume to CNN and BBC so that she could escape from the meaningless journalism which she is doing.

So, what happens next? :: Shekhar Das (Manish Chaudhary), her boss used to be a journalist whom everyone admired – all young journalists wanted to be like him. After his marriage to Lavina Kapadia (Suchitra Pillai), he had received his father-in-law’s news agency, and had settled in as the boss, and had no more courageous journalist action. It is there, at The Buzz that Noor also worked as the junior correspondent. She runs a show called Mumbai Believe it or Not which she finds to be pointless. She gets to talk to different people in the city, like someone who walks upside down and another one who never removes her helmet – she wants to do something like the problems local fishermen are facing due to a new coastal road and the problem with sewers. Also, she is worried about her weight, and doesn’t believe that any good and decent guy will fall in love with her, considering that hiring a hitman to kill someone is rather easier.

And what is to follow with this adventure? :: Her best friend in the city is Zaara Patel (Shibani Dandekar) who doesn’t listen to anyone else, and has been trying to motivate her since school days. Saad Sehgal (Kanan Gill), her other friend is now at London, and these childhood friends are all that she got. Her favourite sentence is “I hate my life”, and the maid at the place Malti (Smita Tambe) is the only other person whom she regularly talks, other than her friend and her father (MK Raina). It is then that she comes across Ayananka Banerjee (Purab Kohli) who has been a CNN reporter working in the Middle East during the wars, and the two gets close. It is then that she gets an idea about something more – an exclusive news which could turn things around for her. But will that happen, or will she remains the same and keep blaming herself for not doing it right?

The defence of Noor :: The movie goes on a realistic path, and there is nothing that goes beyond the lines drawn regarding the same. We feel the protagonist’s problems, no matter how silly they will sound, and they are possible in the case of so many people. The first half is really good, with some humour, and there are also those moments which are there to stay. The credit for the same goes to Sonakshi Sinha who makes this character work so well. Her dialogues, expressions, and the incidents in life make things go on smoothly, and we keep enjoying the light and sweet moments around. There is everything going right with this character with those scenes. If you don’t read too many reviews which keep saying that this isn’t right, and that should have been like something else, you will know that this movie is close to life as it can get – most of the blame put on this movie seems to be more due to some prejudice rather than anything else, even though the movie does have its problems. Still, there are messages, and the feel-good factor.

The claws of flaw :: Noor could have been big, and there is no doubt about that. There was scope for almost everything that could have stayed, from big thrilling moments to those big funny scenes, all contributing very well to the movie in totality. There are also those silly scenes which get rather too much of an attention. There are also those final moments, which seem to have finished the movie without trying that much – maybe there was a rush without that much of a thinking. Things get rather too comforable there, and we are left to witness the curse of the second half, which has attacked Bollywood so much, and is without any plans to stop at any time. One has to wonder why it gets a step down from the moment the first half stops. When there seems to be the chance to get deep into the bad practices in the medical field, the movie just takes one step back, and then when getting close to the bad guy, there is another step taken back – strange things happen in the second half. Then there is too much of party.

How it finishes :: One thing that Noor makes one feel is like that of the Malayalam movie Mili. There is a lot in common between the two despite having entirely different personalities. Also, in certain reviews, there have been people judging the character, without thinking about the fact that it is the role, and this is a person who has her own problems – some people are even against her thoughts, and it is not like they say that it is badly done, but coming up with the idea that it is wrong. It is a strange judgment of people when you see it. We surely have some strange people who come with their own strange ways of hating a movie. This flick is based on the novel Karachi, You’re Killing Me! by the Pakistani journalist and writer Saba Imtiaz, which was also her debut novel. She has also developed the script for this movie, and any comparison can only be done by someone who has gone through both the movie and the novel.

Release date: 21st April 2017
Running time: 116 minutes
Directed by: Sunhil Sippy
Starring: Sonakshi Sinha, Shibani Dandekar, Smita Tambe, Kanan Gill, Purab Kohli, Manish Chaudhary, Suchitra Pillai, MK Raina, Gareth Lawrence, Nikhil Khurana, Indraneel Bhattacharya, Sippora Zoutewelle, Ajita Khanna, Yulian Shchukin, Avantika Akerkar, Sunny Leone (cameo), Diljit Dosanjh (cameo), Badshah (cameo)

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Shootout at Wadala

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There is always something about John Abraham, whether with his debut movie that is Jism, the special ones which were Kabul Express and No Smoking, my favourite performances of him which are Zinda and Taxi 9211 or even his most stylish performance ever, that is Force – as long as the fans of Dhoom won’t disagree. To add to it, however you look at it and whatever some of the critics say about it with an artificially created anguish which has created a fake reflection of imperfection which is more applicable to Chak De India, Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal was also something special. Dostana didn’t fail to impress me and Garam Masala is of lesser importance only because of its Malayalam original eclipsing it. He has always been underrated, as all the fans stood by the actors who have a famous family background, and our man is more of what I would feel to be a self-made man, something which I consider to be of great importance in a world of pride, prejudice and reservations. As the Vampire Bat thinks a lot about where he is from, it is something which always catches the legendary bat attention. Well, once you catch the attention of the Vampire Bat, there is no lack of the paranormal analysis which would be based on a few cups of tea and the absolute truth which can be obtained only by seeking in the sea of lies which is shown to the common movie watchers through some reviews.

Consider Django Unchained for a change – what was in it? Nothing other than racism supported by gore. It leaves the intellectual ones with more wrong questions than anything else. If the performance of those actors alone would make that movie superior, our own shootout would be far ahead with an all-round performance. Well, this movie does take them all aside, and happens to be John Abraham’s best performance ever – from now on. No, it is still not going to mesmerize you, as that step is still far away. The movie is the sequel to the 2007 film Shootout at Lokhandwala, and is based on the book Hussain Zaidi’s Dongri to Dubai – but as I haven’t ventured into these two initiatives and my knowledge is limited, I shall not comment on them. Its dramatization of the first-ever registered encounter by Mumbai police is also something I know nothing about – by nothing I mean a perfect void which would justify all the absence, and I shall not talk about something which happened before I had fallen into this world of misery in an official way. For now, I would know that there is a location called Wadala and there was an encounter there, and the rest shall be my immediate conception of fiction through a movie which has already been praised enough by the critics – for this praise is the absolute truth and nothing else.

Well, as I don’t fall prey the type of nonsense which says like “Sholay is the greatest Indian cinema” kind of stuff, and the stereotypes like “men with muscles can’t act”. The presence of pride and prejudice is so much, and the absence of sense and sensiblity is evident even in this age; may be Jane Austen knew this when she named her novels. As the second axiom shall be easily proved when one watches the movie, I knew all the time that Sholay was so overrated that even the word would be ashamed of it. Even from a long time ago, I knew that it made no sense. It would always remain an unsuccessful imitation of the West in the most ridiculous manner. It had absolutely nothing to generate any feeling, and none of the events were of significance. The presence of only the DD National channel at home would still force people to watch it more than once, and it is surely this nostalgia that has helped in making it attractive even at this age. But, I will not compare this movie to that pseudo-classic, as this belongs to the new world. They would still make them worse with remakes, as there was Aag, as well as movies like Agneepath which might be the worse of them all. Coming back to this movie, it is beyond all those over-hyped movies. It is also not your typical masala entertainer even if the elements are there.

Well, by the time I finish deconstructing these pseudo-classics, the fake movie lovers will come up with more lies. There is this unreal world created by these people which doesn’t need to be turned upside down, but there is the need for the existence of the real world, the world of truth. But I am not going to publish them in detail as a movement against the majority who are brainwashed to believing that the name of the best movie is “blah blah” and “mr. blah blah” is the best actor. I am beyond these lies though, as now I know that the medium is the message. I would never watch a movie according to what the critics say, and I believe the same would be the case of anyone who has some individuality left within them. The media manufatures consent and makes you believe, and now the critical reviews seem to keep people from watching movies or preventing them from doing the same. In this movie’s case, there are a good number of positive reviews, which is a good thing to see, but for all the negatives, there is something we don’t know. It can still be subjectivity and the powerful assertion of oneself, but then, why would a common man read those reviews looking for objectivity? We can only hope that they are just personal opinions, in that case, I really wish they were all blogs like mine which is not really read by people before going for a movie.

With some apologies for thinking and being different, lets focus on our movie of the moment. John Abraham has done a fantastic job as the protagonist/antagonist, with a powerful transformation from the college student who aims at the ceiling to the merciless gang leader who aims at the clouds. From the man of fear to the man who creates fear, he has done a great job, and the latter works perfectly for him. This is quite different from all the roles he has done so far, as it is the main role and it requires so much effort, and he hasn’t lagged behind. He is the one who carries the movie forward on his shoulders, even as Anil Kapoor as the valiant police officer also comes up with a strong performance and the presence of Jackie Shroff as another police officer never ceases to bring some old memories back; but a cameo it is for Jackie. Kangna Ranaut is good in the limited screen presence required for an action movie. Tusshar Kapoor, Manoj Bajpai and Sonu Sood actually seem to come up with something better every scene. The first one surely requires a special mention for the moments he creates.

There is clearly the battle between two sides, plus another extra side, if you could find it. Between all these, there are three item songs, by Sunny Leone, Priyanka Chopra and Sophie Choudry, and the first one even if the most revealing is closer to the story than the others. The other two would seem to add more colour to the whole movie which is full of action, blood and gore – not as gory as your favourite Hollywood slasher movie, but by Bollywood standards. The second item song by Priyanka Chopra could actually be avoided as not belonging to its genre, and the third one by Sophie Choudry might be the most surprising and the more appropriate to what has been happening in the action scene. As the second one pales in comparison, and there is one other song, the whole world of Manya Surve gets so much longer than the average viewer would like. There is also a bit of slow-motion action to add to it, but the Keralite viewers has seen the biggest use of it, and it might not be even big enough to not notice. The power of the movie lies in the fact that it was executed so well, even as there is nothing extraordinary in there, neither in the script nor the adventure which moves a little towards predictability in the end.

Another thing is that this movie came so close to ending the legacy of the non-Indian named movies in my movies list, but with the words “shootout at”, the statistics remain that I have never ventured into reviewing a movie with a non-Germanic-Romance language name – it could be said non-English, but one has to think twice about the words like “Amen”. So this is a legacy which this movie too shall not break, and instead would choose to continue, with a place name which is out of it, but in totality an integral part of the legacy. As all those Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi movies which I found interesting to review had those type of names, it is interesting that most of the movies with local names have failed, especially in Malayalam; starting from Annayum Rasoolum, going through Lokpal to Natholi Oru Cheriya Meenalla. Well, this movie makes sure that the non-native titled movies keep their status above average. The two or three Malayalam movies in the theatres also continues this legacy, and so does a number of upcoming movies; therefore lets see if I can get to bless the reviews list with a movie of native title; Akam had come so close, but just missed out – that should make the masala entertainer/superstar flick fans who try to impose their lies in a violent and baseless manner incredibly happy.

Release date: 3rd May 2013
Running time: 155 minutes
Directed by: Sanjay Gupta
Starring: John Abraham, Kangna Ranaut, Anil Kapoor, Tusshar Kapoor, Manoj Bajpai, Sonu Sood, Jackie Shroff (cameo), Sunny Leone (cameo), Priyanka Chopra (cameo), Sophie Choudry (cameo)

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.