One simple question to start with……In the current scenario, are we always supposed to see a Bollywood Comedy leaving our thinking brains at home?......Really fed up with this phrase often used to praise mindless comedies, I was completely taken back by the treatment given by Priyadarshan to his latest script-less movie called “De Dana Dan”. Once again taking his inspirations from the English flicks, “Blame It on The Bellboy” (1992) & “The Towering Inferno” (1974), the director delivers a completely over the top and loud movie which miserably fails to impress the viewers in any of its department.
With more than 20 characters in the script, played by all well known actors of the Industry, the project has too many things to deal with on its platter. It really remains a questionable decision that even after the presence of the famous “Hera Pheri” comic trio, what was the need of roping in almost everyone related to comedy genre in the industry ranging from the veterans Asrani & Shakti Kapoor to the currently famous Johny Lever & Rajpal Yadav. Priyadarshan may have successfully dealt with them all in few of his previous projects but this time he simply slips disastrously.
Storyline has never been the major highlight of a Priyadarshan project. But in “De Dana Dan”, he very daringly treats the story requirement of a movie in the most careless manner. Starting with few good scenes moving around a Kidnapping plot, the movie starts going into various opposite directions with a desperate plea to make you laugh. Post interval it looks like the director and the whole unit somehow lost their original script in the transit and just went on with the shooting as per their outdoor schedule.
After an hour the movie has nothing related to a story and it just has all its characters confusingly following each other with mistaken identities. Collectively living in the same five star hotel, everyone keeps barging into unknown rooms trying to create some hilarious scenes for the viewers. And the most surprising part is that post intermission the biggest star of the movie, Akshay Kumar simply vanishes from the screen for more than half an hour. According to the proceedings he gets locked in a closet and remains there for a good amount of time. But what was the use of locking your most sellable star like that. Anyone else could have been easily locked with a little change in the one page script.
“De Dana Dan” has loads of absurdities in its narration, which fail to convince even if you take them as a part of a brainless comedy flick. For instance, a full grown man (Akshay Kumar) has been kidnapped but the whole Indian community (in Singapore) and the entire media is searching for a kid instead, because that is the only photograph available of the kidnapped person. In the climax the top floor water reservoir of a more than 30 story hotel gets exploded due to a bomb. And that shockingly brings a major flood like situation in the entire multistory building with everything floating in the heavy water flow. In fact the silly watery sequence hilariously resembled the one recently seen in “Tum Mile”.
Performance wise this is a perfect example of a film with the most numbers of stars, where not even one makes his presence felt in the end. For the first time ever, I found Paresh Rawal, hamming with his intentional Punjabi accent. The viewers are sure going to miss the cult Paresh Rawal act of his previous hit comedies. Akshay Kumar is not entirely there in the movie. He starts off with some good scenes with Archna Puran Singh, but later gets lost in the overcrowded star-cast. Not using him as per his much applauded comic timing is entirely the fault of his director. Suniel Shetty does his act with an unconcerned ease and he seems to be included only to complete the famous comedy trio.
Both Katrina Kaif & Sameera Reddy can count their major scenes on one hand. They only contribute in the film as its female lead and nothing else. In comparison, Neha Dhupia makes a better impact in her few moments on the screen. Archana Puran Singh shouts more and acts less. Aditi Gowariker once again proves that she is a better model. Shakti Kapoor repeats his sex maniac act. Asrani, Tinnu Anand & Manoj Joshi are routine, but Chunkey Pandey, Rajpal Yadav and Johny Lever are wasted in their unimportant roles. Sharat Saxena & Vikram Ghokhle are miscast as they simply do not belong to the comedy genre.
Pritam’s music is not outstanding as expected. But the RDB track “Paisa Paisa” is a major hit which also has its own history in the Punjabi Music Industry. The track was the opening song of the Debut Album of Manak-E released few years back, which had music by RDB and was also promoted well with a music video on the leading Punjabi channels. It was indeed quite thoughtful of both RDB and Akshay to use the song with the same singer in the promotional campaign of the movie. However as usual, all the songs are inserted in the script without any specific need. Background score by Salim-Suleman is energetic and Cinematography is fine as per the requirement of the subject but the film tends to go over length due to its bizarre climax.
On the whole, it’s just another instance of better promotion and poor content. Few weeks before, I could understand the success of “Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani” (though I personally rated it quite low) as it had a worth praising act by Ranbir Kapoor, good songs and some hilarious scenes with mass appeal, but if “De Dana Dan” goes on to become a big Hit then I really fear what kind of projects we are going to get in the near future.
And lastly one sincere request for the director, who gave us the cult “Hera Pheri”……..Please take a break and re-invent yourself on priority basis…!
Rating : 1.5 / 5
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(Should be ideally watched after seeing its first part - Before Sunrise, also reviewed in the subsequent post)
A sequel to “Before Sunrise”, the movie starts after 9 years from the day, when two strangers met on the train and spent a few hours together. Now, once again, destiny brings them in front of each other with their different personas, new outlooks and changed attitudes. The man is now married and known as a famous writer, who has written a book based on those few hours of experiences he had with the stranger girl nine years back. And the girl, still single, now works for an environment protection organization, which gives her an opportunity to work in different parts of the world with different people. The mindsets have changed and the preferences have been altered, but still the same spark of love is very much alive in their hearts which brightens up as they unexpectedly meet after so many years.
With only a few hours left to spend together, they stroll through the streets of Paris, talking about the good old time they had once enjoyed and the nine long years they had lived differently. Sharing their intimate experiences of life, they try to find out the reasons why they didn’t meet after six months as promised and whether they still have the same feelings for each other or not. The spirited talks between the two are more like a well written thesis on the subject of Love and Relationships which is surely capable of changing the way one values the feeling of Love in his life. Their discussion makes you remember all those lovable old friends, whom you have not met from so many years but are still there in your loving memories.
However, here I would also like to mention that “Before Sunrise” or “After Sunrise” are not recommended for the viewers who are just looking for a good time with the same old dosage of love, sex and drama. The movies are strictly for the mature lovers of cinema who are willing to study them as two important and spiritual books written on the subject of love. Incidentally “Before Sunset” was also deservingly nominated in the Oscars for its commendable screenplay and writing.
In few words, these two movies give you the real meaning of those “Unexplained Loving Relationships” which one experiences while moving on the path of life. Besides that, they also introduce you to some new emotional expressions of the soul, which cannot be found in any of the normal dictionaries of the world.
Hence if you want to move ahead of a “Man-Woman Relationship” and really want to discover a new meaning of the most commonly used word “Love”, then you must see these two movies together in one go. And I am sure every viewer will find a different meaning of his own after watching them.
Directed By Richard Linklater
Starring : Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy
Before Sunset (2004), Movies To See Before You Die, Must See Movies List by Bobby Sing & www.bobbytalkscinema.com, Movies on Love Theme, Must See Movies List By Bobby Sing, Not Be Missed Flicks at bobbytalkscinema.com, Not Be Missed Movies at bobbytalkscinema.com, Must See Movies List by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Oscar Nominee for Best Screenplay and Writing.
Just think about a movie which has only two people on the screen, who meet up as strangers in a train, talk elaborately about themselves and eventually go on to become mature lovers within a span of a few hours. But even after developing a definite liking for each other they willfully decide to part at the end of the day and promise to meet again after a period of 6 months if they still feel the same way. That’s a sweet synopsis of a lovingly delightful movie called “Before Sunrise”.
A mature take on infatuation and love, the movie is miles ahead of any normal love story between two strangers. With just two characters talking about their longings, dreams, hopes and life styles, it takes you onto an entirely different journey beyond any of your creative imaginations. In other words the movie is quite a spiritual and cathartic experience as it explores many hidden layers of our human psyche superbly. It teaches how a man and a woman can learn so much from each other simply moving above the normal experiences of love, sex, lust and passion. It opens the human heart as never before and gives you an enlightening experience to cherish for a long time.
Simply put, it’s an inventive work of art by the director Richard Linklater, in which he successfully manages to make you feel for the characters with the help of their deep & thoughtful verbal discussions on various aspects of life. It’s one of those rare poetic movies which effortlessly makes a place in your heart and stays there for long. Absolutely beautiful, honest, subtle and refreshing, it deserves to be seen at the earliest by everyone who has a loving heart filled with emotional feelings for his or her partner.
After the movie ends with its two key characters moving away from each other, it leaves many unanswered questions in the mind of the viewer with a strong urge to watch more. Hence with such a positive impact being made all over, the makers were bound to make a sequel to this timeless classic where the two lovers unexpectedly meet each other after 9 long years of life in some new circumstances. And that gave rise to “Before Sunset” made in 2004. If possible watch the two movies back to back in order to have an unforgettable, loving and enlightening experience. A must watch for all lovers.
Directed By Richard Linklater
Starring : Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy
Before Sunrise, Movies To See Before You Die, Movies on Love Theme, Movies to See Before You Die, Must See Movies List By Bobby Sing, Not Be Missed Flicks at bobbytalkscinema.com, Not Be Missed Movies at bobbytalkscinema.com, Must See Movies List by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com
Dharma Productions, known for its well planned movies and remarkable success ratio returns to the screen with a strong thriller supported by a fiery star-cast and an eye catching promotional campaign. The controversial posters in the news and the secrecy regarding its story plot surely helped in creating a buzz for the movie before its release. So everybody was forced to expect yet another well made movie from Karan Johar’s production house with a unique kind of storyline never told before on the screen.
But the final outcome has got a completely different story to tell which also raises many questions on the cut-throat competition between various big banners of the industry. Undeniably, “Kurbaan” is a well crafted thriller with its brilliant direction and visibly grand production values. It has its own worth seeing moments along with some superb thought provoking sequences relevant to the current scenario in the western countries. But the real shocking revelation lies in its story plot which is strikingly similar to “New York”.
In fact it’s like Kabir Khan and Karan Johar got hold of a similar idea and then wrote two different scripts with minor changes as per their own film-making styles.
In order to prove my point, here are the similarities between the two movies, which unfortunately would also reveal the storyline of “Kurbaan”.
1. “New York” has got two college students (John & Katrina) falling in love with each other and later living a happily married life abroad. Here John plays a muslim character who is secretly working for the pride of his religion and planning a big disaster in the city.
In “Kurbaan” instead of students there are two professors (Saif & Kareena) in the college, who fall in love with each other, get married and settle abroad to live a happy life together. Here Saif plays the muslim character who is a wanted terrorist in disguise and also planning for a big disaster in the city.
2. In both the movies the lady of the house (Katrina & Kareena) doesn’t know about the real identity of her husband which is later discovered by her as a shock of her life.
3. “New York” has Neil Nitin Mukesh working on a secret mission, who enters John’s gang with a different identity and tries to catch him before the big disaster planned with the help of FBI.
In “Kurbaan” there is Vivek Oberoi who after losing her love in a bomb blast plans to enter Saif’s gang with a different identity aiming to get him behind the bars with the help of FBI.
4. “New York” has Irfan Khan playing the role of an FBI officer helping Neil, whereas in “New York” the role is not that significant played by a foreign actor who is constantly talking with Vivek on phone in the climax.
5. In both the films, the new entrant in the gang is given a test to pass where he is asked to shoot an unknown man just like that without any reason.
6. Both the movies have a similar sequence where an associate gang member from the extremists group panics when few policemen start searching his car and ask him to get out. In both the scenes the man loses his life due to the unexpected emotional reaction.
7. In “New York” John suspects Neil talking with someone on the phone and then takes away his phone saying that no-one will use any phone from now on.
In “Kurbaan” Om Puri suspects Vivek talking with somebody on phone and then takes away his phone again saying that no-one will use any phone from now on.
8. Both the movies gradually move towards a big disaster planned by the terrorist in the end which also results in their leader getting killed by the police. Both John & Saif meet similar fates towards the climax in strikingly similar circumstances.
In short, if you have seen “New York” then you have already seen “Kurbaan” in a different version. However both the movies hold their own distinctive merits due to their respective talented directors. “New York” was more definitive and expressive in its characterisation, romance and songs. On the other hand “Kurbaan” is more intense, exciting and well executed as a fine thriller with some creditable performances by all the three leading characters.
Saif once again delivers a polished and calm performance as the terrorist. Kareena gives him tough competition with a superb portrayal of a helpless girl caught in the web of terrorism. Vivek also shines bright after a long gap in his important role of an informer cum reporter. Dia Mirza looks ravishing in her few scenes. Om Puri is top rate as usual but the most impressive supporting act comes from Kiron Kher in the role of an angry muslim lady ready to fight for her revenge.
Unexpectedly the musical score by Salim-Sulieman is not up to the standards of Karan Johar productions with no particular song standing out with its melody. But, Cinematography clearly gives the movie an international look from all angles. It also seems that the movie was specifically made for the overseas market and metro cities. Since, there is heavy use of English language in the movie, with one particular scene of a seminar having conversations going on in English for a good period of time.
Writing also has got too many flaws in it with things moving on very easily without any complications. For instance, two mature professors go on flirting with each other freely in the staff room and class rooms within the college campus (which was like the creative liberty taken for a ride). Saif easily gets Visas for abroad without any hassles and he even gets a professor’s job in the foreign university just like that. Kareena takes out the bullet out of Saif’s wound in few seconds and even applies stitches to it like a pro. There are shoot outs going on and people moving fearlessly holding a gun in the tube train with no trace of any policemen around. Even the hot bed room scene between Saif and Kareena looks like deliberately added later on and also seems to be edited in a great hurry. It lacks the warmth as one recalls in the similar scenes from “Parinda” and “Dayavan”. Hence at some places the execution goes too filmy, far below the expectations from a Dharma Productions movie.
But what impressed me the most were the well written, explosive dialogues in the script which may be taken as offensive by many. They surely had the truth spoken in the most blunt way ever on the Indian Silver Screen. In short, director Rensil D’Silva undoubtedly proves his command over the medium with his noticeable directorial debut. But I am still confused why they made a movie on the same storyline of “New York”. With a different story plot it surely could have been the finest thriller of the recent times.
Rating : 2.5 / 5
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