Pradeep Sarkar

Mardaani Trailer Breakdown: Rani is a bad ass!

Mardaani has been under the radar for a while now but I had assumed wrongly that it was going to be a female version of a Southploitation movie along the lines of a Rowdy Rathore but with Rani Mukherjee instead of any cash hungry male actor. Which didn’t really excite me as they tried doing that with Gulaab Gang to a certain extent and failed miserably.

The first look poster released back in May was pretty terrrible (as with most YRF releases)  and made me think they had roped in Ram Gopal Varma to direct a female Sarkar.

But boy, does this first trailer prove me wrong on all accounts (a feeling i love when a movie manages to do so)

Mardaani’s trailer is a tough watch which makes me wonder if the audience will be clamoring to watch a movie about such a horific subject as Child Trafficking but when making a movie like this, that might be besides the point especially as YRF has been doing a lot of brand diversification with collaborating with more Indie film directors.

Pradeep Sarkar had previously made Laga Chunariya Me Daag which dealt with prostitution and also starred Rani but that movie failed and was part of the old YRF glossy cinema where as Mardaani seems much grittier.

I love seeing Rani be a bad ass again after No One Killed Jessica and they again manage to put in a few scenes of Rani cussing out men, and then even elbowing their faces in which is all kinds of awesome. It’s really good to see a female actor do some push ups and quite realistic action instead of the kung fu wire crap they pulled off in Gulaab Gang, Dus and Chandni Chowk To China.

We love Rani here at Upodcast (As you can hear us gush when speaking to her for Talaash) and hope the movie is hardhitting but made sensitively enough, maybe softening up the next trailer might help in not scaring away some of audience members as some of the shots of girls being stripped are truly gruesome to watch.

Release Date: 22 August 2014
Starring: Rani Mukerji
Directed by: Pradeep Sarkar
Produced by: Aditya Chopra

Review: Lafangey Parindey

Lafangey Parindey (directed by Pradeep Sarkar ) is the product of a confused studio,Yash Raj films. Once the most illustrious production company in India now a factory of cookie cutter, bland and utterly forgettable products. A studio that just doesn’t understand anymore how to recapture their old glory and Lafangey Parindey is the another final grasp of desperation from  a man trying to hold on to anything he can whilst plummeting to the debts of mediocrity, this movie is basically Hans Gruber falling off the Nakatomi building!

Our fiend Ness from ShahrukhIsLove  and I decided to do a double review for this movie as we stumbled across it on the same day and decided/were forced to watch it.

You can find her review here which is a great piece of writing although I do not agree with much of it. Ness found a lot of enjoyment out of Lafangey, I unfortunately found almost none.

To summarize the plot, Nandu is a sweaty, grease-laden underground fighter with heightened extra sensory perception or an acute sense of smell (must be one of the two as he can knock out his opponent blind folded with one single punch).  Before the movie starts( in the part we don’t get to see), he hires a team of communication consultants to come up with the perfect catchy nickname which would look good on  billboards and publicity hoardings as well give him exactly the right street amount of cred for his homies and peeps who he enjoys taking motorcycle rides with.

 After holding focus groups, in depth motivational analysis and finally a Don Draper-type eureka moment they came up with the name “One shot Nandu” and there was much rejoicing. Armed with a snappy nickname, his band of motorcycling cronies and his desi-street lingo dictionary (although nothing of Govinda level: “Haata sawan ki ghata kha khuja ke batti buzhake soja nintukale pintukale..Raste pe khadeli Anty bajarahi hain baar baar ghanti..atale watae shaane..Kulla ghuma ke pashchim ko palat..phutale watale shaane..”-Deewana Mastana) Nandu is ready to take on the world if he can find time between some horribly choreographed dancing and inspiring a few precocious SlumDog Millionaire-rejects.

One Shot is student of the Bobby Deol’s school of boxing, he decides that you don’t need to tone or train any part of your body to be a professional fighter. Just a few pushups here and there suffice!

He feels a promotion is well deserved wants to take the next step career wise to major league Goondabaazi so he asks Anna (the criminally underused Kay Kay)  to take him on his next Goonda related assignment.

Pinky is from the same neighborhood  as Nandu and wants to use her skating ability to skate her way to a better life by taking part in India Got talent. Pinky is very tall and her arms and legs are all over the place. She is clearly not a quitter and can be as foul mouthed as the rest of the Basti- gang, these facets of her personality will be highlighted incessantly throughout the movie.  She gets run over by a car in a scene very reminiscent of Brad Pitt’s death scene in Meet Joe Black and loses her ability to see! (Can someone edit both these scenes together?- it might be bigger than the keyboard cat!)

So what happens next?

Will Pinky manage to find a dance partner?

Will Nandu be able to come to grips with his guilt?

Will they fall in luuurv sweet luurv?

Let me save you the trouble of actually watching this arduous journey of a movie by saying: of course they will. To quote The Zohan:” I have seen this. I have done this. You don’t want this”

This movie is filled with Tarantino-esque movie references or  Anu Malik type “inpirations” but since the performances by the leadcast are pretty monochromous It is never clear which is which.

Here are some of the blatant déjà vu feelings I had explained through the magic of math!

Lafangey Parinday= (Rab ne banadi Jodi) x Ghulam /(The Killer+ Naseeb) x −Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman

The point being we have seen this movie already a million times and Pradeep Sarkar’s treatments adds nothing to the journey we take with these characters. Every beat is predictable and every dialogue uttered by the lead pair sounds false.

I don’t know about these new actors lately, they are not able to convey true passion in their performance anymore, I just don’t believe these people have any true feelings for each other.

ShahRukh Khan always claimed he can romance a tree if needed, I just don’t see the same ability in the new Brat Pack of boys and girls and I do miss that essential Bollywood component to give me a full massala flavor. That chemistry between the lead pair is completely lacking between Deepika and Neil.

I worry for Neil’s career, although likeable, I don’t know what he can add to the Bollywood hero roster especially as the buzz around Jonny Gadaar has now completely died down and  being a Hrithik Roshan  look-alike  isn’t the best way forward. We know how well the Hrithik references worked for Harman Baweja’s career-ZING! (They do reference his resemblance again in this movie which I don’t see but I never really do, maybe coz I knew a lot of twins growing up…)

Deepika, I worry less about since she’s quite easy on the eye which seems to be the most important factor of succes in bollywood movies, and if Priyanka Chopra can win a “best actress” award there is hope for Deepika. Plus she plays a blind girl which means she can mostly look away and stare blankly which she does pretty well.

So the story is old, treatment is bland, the setting and look is corny, performances are unconvincing, there is no chemistry between the performers,  the CGI in the skate performances have the most jarring visual effects I have seen in ages almost close to Game of Death-level  work. (A movie completed with left over material after Bruce Lee’s passing away, google it! It was painful)

What I did like about the Lafangey Parindey was Kay Kay’s performances, which was blink-and miss ni length but it made me at least take note of what was going on and beggars can’t be choosers. the other was the song “Man Lafangey” by the always excellent Mohit Chauhan. The production values are high but it’s covered with the same YRF gloss that makes all their movies look exactly the same. Yash Raj films needs to fire their entire art department for being lazy for the past 12 years and then read this article by Cracked: 5 Annoying Trends That Make Every Movie Look the Same.

I’ really have been racking my brain but that truly is it!

Also if you want to see convincing fight scenes filmed in grizzly grey tones since that’s what the movie poster promises us, watch this underwear ad starring Salman Khan.

Lafangey Parindey? More like disease infected pigeons!

If you agree or disagree, leave us know in the comment section below!

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