Anees Bazmee

Review (without seeing the movie): Players

First a short intro, More and more movie studios are flooding the audience with aggressive marketing campaigns, weeks of trailers, first look poster reveals, meet and greets with the stars and a barrage of tweets and viral videos on various social media sites.

As an audience we have reached a point of saturation, and sometimes we even feel we have seen the movie before its release.

We have become heavily polarized with which stars we like or dislike because no one wants to act any more, they all want to be brands. Movies aren’t entertainment anymore, they have all become events.

 

So we at Upodcast, being the enfant terrible of cinema blogs, we have created a new feature, the review based on the movie trailer!

We haven’t seen the movie yet but we will be featuring some guest bloggers that will review the movie based on the trailers. Of course all of this is done in a tongue in cheek way but somewhere down the line it’s also the audience answer to the exhaustion we all feel!

Our first review is from our good friend DishoomPK, do check out his blog and twitter feed, which is always fun and interesting!

Dishoompk always goes for Gold!

Review (without seeing the movie): Players

Abbas-Mustan latest movie “Players” is a “remake” of The Italian Job. But In actuality, it is a remake of the 2003 remake of the Italian Job. That fact is a general indicator of the derivative nature of the movie, where everything seems like something we might have seen in some generic Steven Seagal Hollywood action movie. The characters are developed with the same aesthetics of a western action flick, where they are mere tools to move from one explosion to the next, with little or no character development. Most of the character exploration dealt with a superficial motivation of the characters. These motivation are two flimsy to make the audience root for the protagonists of Players.

To give some credit to Abbas-Mustan, the scope of the movie really impresses. If one wants to see a B-grade Hollywood action movie, one would be getting a bit more than that. Some masala was graciously spread out here and there, to make it just palatable for your average Bollywood viewer. However, very much like Abbas-Mustan’s last venture “Race”, the storytelling is quite fragmented and there’s no flow to the proceedings. The emotional quotient is lacking, as well. However, some of the stunts performed in to movie are really great, and it was magnificent to see some of those sequences pan out on the big screen, with some South Asian faces attached to them. Also the Russian and the New Zealand backgrounds is seem so majestic, on the big screen!

In the acting department, most of the ensemble cast doesn’t give us a surprising performance. Abhishek Bachchan goes through all the motions with a stern face, in which he is trying very hard to embody some “Angry Young Man” who is motivated to do something and is proactive, and intelligent. But he ends up looking like a grumpy overachiever. He is just “too cool” to get the character the essential emotional kick to make us want to root for him. We don’t see his insecurities, we don’t see his shortcomings: We just see a cool dude, trying to do rob some gold.

Bipasha Basu was unfortunately underused, and her character was only there to distract people so that the “men” can swoop in and finish the job. I think Bipasha has grown so much as an actress, and she needs meatier roles, which give more justice to her talent and her experience. One of the surprises of the movie was Sonam Kapoor’s bad-ass character, which the audience would find to be very refreshing. Her attitude just hits the right notes, even though it might seem that it is trying a bit too hard to fit in the boys club. Neil Mukesh’s character as a nerdy hacker was too one-dimensional and full of stereotypes that one associates with these kinds of character. On the other hand, Bobby Deol’s hair might just get the crowd going, on its’ own.

The music of the movie was really good, as one would expect from the said directors. The picturisations were really fun. Bipasha looks stunning in THAT song, and her chemistry with Bobby is sizzling! Sonam needs to gain some weight, to get a grip on the “curvy” nature of dance moves she was trying to do.

All in all, it might be a paisa vasool if you think Anees Bazmee is a paisa vasool director. This is certainly better than Anees Bazmee paisa vasool film!

Follow DishoomPK on his blog or twitter!

 

Let us know what you think of this new feauture or of Players before or after seeing the movie!

Players releases nationwide January 6th 2012!

 

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Is this the original version of Character Dheela?

During the promotional run of the blockbuster Ready, there were  rumours circulating about introductory song Character Dheela being reshot as Salman Khan and the production company Tips weren’t really happy with the grandeur of the original version. The rumours took the usual route of first being multiplied and enlarged (allegedly director Anees Bazmee was annoyed of being side tracked and then close to walking off, then Farah Khan was being approached) , then denied and as soon as the movie became a hit, completely swept under the rug.

Now there is a remix version out of the song on the Ready Facebook page that suspiciously looks like the the original version that was shot? If you want to have a look at what Character Dheela might have looked like. have a sneak peak here

The picturization looks awful and looks more like No Entry which came out years ago. Above all Zarine Khan must be thanking her stars that the reshoot decision was made because after the movie’s producers, she is probably the one that benefitted the most in terms of buzz, as her appearance was really appreciated (as it was by us in our original review which you can read here)

Let us know what you think of Character Dheela in our comment section below!

 

 

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Ready Review

 

The promos have been playing night and day. The pocket pointy dance has become a fad. The public has been waiting for a time pass masala entertainer since January. Salman Khan is riding high after Dabanng and Wanted. Aneez Bazmee is at an all-time low after Thank You and No Problem. No one can even remember the last time Tips, the production company, behind Ready had a bona fide hit. So how does Ready stack up with all these expectations? Check out our review after the jump!

Before I start talking about the movie I have to mention that there are a ton of sponsorship deals, thank you’s and corporate tie-ins that appear before the movie starts.

A special mention to Rahul Rawail Grandson’s logo which is a straight lift from Disney’s The Lion King. It’s probably the first time I actually wanted Disney to sue someone.

But I was hungry to be entertained and more than anything I wanted this movie to work.

Having seen Dum Maaro Dum and Game, both movies I really enjoyed but didn’t tickle my masala craving, I walked in with my pot of strawberry flavored yoghurt into the theatre. I have always made my fondness for Salman Khan clear in even his most dreary outings. Everyone can love the man in Dabanng but loving him in God Tussi Great Ho demands a certain kind of insanity and adulation.

Asin is always a pleasant appearance on the big screen in the few movies I have seen her in and I felt the chemistry she had with Salman in London Dreams was probably the best part of that horror fest.

But I had no faith in director Anees Bazmee whatsoever as I have never enjoyed any of his movies. I don’t like his brand of humor and above all I question his mindset.

To me he seems like lecherous old man cracking inappropriate jokes that gets invited to your house party. You can humor him for a couple of minutes but after that you can or drop kick him out your house or walk away. It’s always a surprise seeing his interviews as the man seems quite sensitive and well spoken. It’s a shame none of his eloquence translates through to his cinema.

Bazmee land is a cacophony of inane puns fired blindly at the audience. Calling them double entendres would be too smart a word. It’s just words that sound like other words (Tu teacher nahi, cheater hai)

The whole scenario is doused with Anees’ usual tropes i.e. mild rape references or hurting women physically (I counted 5), husband cheating on their wives treated as a mild faux-pas (a thread that annoyed me to no end in his previous disaster Thank You, a film where the hero slaps one of the backup dancer in a song for no apparent reason) and just a general patronization of womankind even when trying to endear them. At the climactic fight sequence where we should be cheering on the hero, a throw away joke is made that just leaves a bad taste.

The mind of Anees Bazmee is a dirty horrible conservative place which I do not wish to visit but this is supposed to be a family entertainer which makes it even more worrisome. His brand of humor seems to work though as most of the auntijee’s who had snuck in bottle of hot sauce to pour over their chips were laughing harder than anyone in the audience. And this will make a ton of money which in turn will allow Anees Bazmee to make more of these movies.

Besides all that, he is just an incompetent director. The comedic beats are off, the editing is shoddy and the times Ready beats you in submission and you do start laughing you feel you need to take a long  shower like Elizabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas.

I want to try and explain the plot of Ready but instead I have the perfect visual presentation:

 

But if that doesn’t work for you. Here is a summary:

Prem Kapoor (Salman Khan) is a good hearted rascal/kameena/kutta/dog that lives with his joint family of uncles and aunties. All the uncles have a quirky trait so it makes it easier to keep them apart, the aunties are not so lucky. Sanjana walks into their family posing as Pooja (some really old lady waiting at an airport that we’re supposed to believe is a bride to be for Salman Khan) trying to escape her evil uncles who want to forcefully marry her off to their brother-in laws to usurp her riches.

Prem and Sanjana end up falling in love just before the interval. After the interval Prem poses as an an accountant for Sanjana’s mafia uncles and tries to go all DDLJ on ’em in Salman Style via way of a speeded up chase climax a la Priyadarshan.

Don’t you wish you had just looked at the picture instead of reading that paragraph?

The first half is just a slog to sit through. The family dynamic is annoying and the pace is just dead slow. Post interval things pick up and this is solely because the appearance of one man that should be wearing a big ‘S’ on his chest and that man is Paresh Rawal. Everything the man says or does is just freaking hilarious and every scene he has is probably the best the movie ever gets. Too bad he didn’t have a bigger role and didn’t have more scenes with Salman.

The movie just feels very heavily edited and tinkered with. Whole joke sequences and reaction shots are done behind a blue screen. There is even a voice over at the start of the movie establishing characters which substantiates the rumors that the director took a back seat. Instead Salman Khan and the producers tried to readjust as much as was salvageable of the movie. They did try really hard but the whole base is off and there is only so much polish a turd can take.

Character Dheela (Zarine Khan looking very pretty), Dhinka Chika and Meri Ada (Rahat Fateh Ali Khan FTW!!!) are awesome to look at and you do get forget how badly they are placed within the narrative.

The song sequences, the production design, the action which were rumored to be tinkered with are shot lavishly and pretty much the best part of the movie. Especially as this is the moments that Asin can shine as she doesn’t have much to do in the second part of the movie which is really surprising as her character is a real kameeni and churratth (not my words) in the first half.

Salman khan has free reign like a lion that can not and will not be tamed by anyone. He stands, dresses and jokes as he pleases and no man will come between him and his understanding of his audiences.

But our hero can sure pack a punch when needed even if he seems a bit puffier then he usually is. His obligatory shirt taking off scene is even heavily CGI’ed and played as a joke that really isn’t a joke. I won’t say more as I don’t want to spoil the few jokes that did work for me at least.

Your enjoyment of Ready is really dependent on how much you enjoy watching Salman on screen and how much you want to be entertained as you walk into the theatre.

A good comparison is last week’s Hangover part 2, a movie based on a finely calculated scientific formula of laughs per minute and dependent on the appeal and familiarity of the audience for its stars. Like a blind man with an UZI in a dance hall, some jokes are bound to find a target. More than anything this movie is a success in terms of production, marketing and above all timing.

Go in with your expectations set to low, wanting to laugh and if you can go in a group do so as even then you will only have a moderately good time. Damn you Bazmee, Damn you!!!!

 

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