Release Date: 15th September, 2017
Cast: Kangna Ranaut
Writer/Director: Hansal Mehta
Producer/s: Shailesh Singh, Bhushan Kumar
Gulmohar Movie Review Rating:
Star Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Sharmila Tagore, Simran, Amol Palekar, Suraj Sharma, Kaveri Seth, Utsavi Jha, Chandan Roy, Jatin Goswami, Gandharv Dewan, and ensemble.
Director: Rahul Chittella.
What’s Good: A moving story and an amazing Manoj Bajpayee with a very able cast unite to make a movie that is about the complexities of a family.
What’s Bad: Some loose ends but that won’t hamper your experience much.
Loo Break: If you cannot shed that tear in front of everyone.
Watch or Not?: Please do. It’s a film made with a lot of heart and love.
Language: Hindi (with subtitles).
Available On: Disney+ Hotstar.
Runtime: 132 Minutes.
The Batras after living in Gulmohar, in the heart of Delhi, for 34 years are all set to move into a penthouse in the urbanised Gurgaon aka Gurugram. The matriarch Kusum (Sharmila) requests her family to spend four more days in the now-sold family bungalow to celebrate Holi one last time. The packing and moving out brings out a neatly buried secret that shakes the core of this tree.
Gulmohar Movie Review: Script Analysis
The grammar of a family anywhere on the planet is similar. People bonded with each other by staying under one roof with some rifts and problems that they conquer together. But is a family always one that is bonded by blood? Or there is more to the concept than just being born to the same lineage? Filmmakers since the yore are trying their hands at this complex narrative and have even been successful. Br it the most recent Kapoor & Sons by Shakun Batra or Cake, an achingly beautiful Pakistani film created by Asim Abbasi.
Enters a new name on the list, Gulmohar. It is a metaphor for a bungalow that has branched out just like the members living in it. The presence of stairs in the house is the parameter of success, the father in his young days told his son who is now the head of the family. 34 years in the house now they decide to move and embrace a change. Written by Rahul with Arpita Mukherjee, Gulmohar is more personal than anything else. It is a loved in experience of almost every Indian household that was once held intact together but has now split into nuclear homes. There is representation of every voice in a joint structure, one that holds the power, one that witnesses silently, one that is vocal, and one that is oppressed.
There is so much heart in the minute details added to the writing. Arun, the father of the family played by the ethereal Manoj Bajpayee is stubborn and connected to the house he is about to leave. While he wants to walk with the world and embrace change there is still resistance. He is man who is yet to accept Gurgaon as Gurugram, so the change in homes is much bigger for him. Through that, we see Delhi’s urbanisation, the cost of living in a posh locality, and how it burns pockets.
There is a big twist that might ruin your experience if revealed but the handling of it is so delicate in itself that it lands right in the centre of the emotional core. To support it from all sides, the makers create a world will multiple parallel stories. The house helps have their separate eco-system and they are as important a family member as anyone else. But they are also reminded of their status often. There is a dig at the class divide, class divide, and even orthodox thinking that is still evident in some.
While Gulmohar is delicate and moving, it does somewhere end up wrapping up some storylines quite abruptly. Like there is a character who is homos*xual and the way she finds her redemption and the way her entire arc is treated feels very rushed and convenient.
Gulmohar Movie Review: Star Performance
Sharmila Tagore returns to our screens post more than a decade and it is such a bliss to see her spread her regal magic all over again. There is still so much each in how she performs the most complex of the scenes and you can see the experience she walks in with.
Talking of experience, there can never be a bad Manoj Bajpayee performance ever. The actor only continues to surprise with Gulmohar where he has got the most complex part to play. He is a man dealing with anxiety watching his entire existence falling in a moment. The way he handles this character is art that only actors of his calibre possess.
Simran plays Bajpayee’s wife and is brilliant. Her character is written right in the centre of preserving old values and urbanisation. You see a bit of both in her. While she at the service of this entire family, she also rebels in her murmurs. The actor plays this part with so much each and a subtle face.
Special mention for Jatin Goswami, who makes the silences around him speak. Such a controlled performance!
Sardar Movie Review Rating:
Star Cast: Karthi, Raashi Khanna, Rajisha Vijayan, Chunky Pandey, Laila
Director: P. S. Mithran
What’s Good: Despite showing Karthi as a larger-than-life hero, this doesn’t do fan service to your face
What’s Bad: It misses the target of entertaining, making a mess in order to serve a multi-course meal on a single plate!
Loo Break: It’s 166-minutes long & has no power to stop you from taking a break, yes you’ll miss a lot but it won’t make you clueless about what’s going on
Watch or Not?: It misses the target of entertaining, making a mess in order to serve a multi-course meal on a single plate!
Available on: Theatrical Release
Runtime: 166 Minutes
It starts following the basic spy-thriller schtick of introducing the almighty lead agent telling you why he’s not as good as you think, but he eventually will be because how else to end such films? By labelling the super-spy Bose aka Sardar (Karthi) a ‘traitor’, the film jumps to the current day where his son Vijayprakash (also Karthi) is trying hard of being so entertaining to everyone that they should forget his father was a ‘gadaar’ agent back in the day.
Vijay somehow gets involved with the weird subplot of Chunky Panday‘s Rathore is fooling not only the country but also the entire world with his ‘One Nation One Pipeline’ scheme. With the help of his lawyer childhood crush Shalini (Raashii Khanna), Vijay uncovers truths about his life reuniting with his allegedly-rouge father Sardar ultimately getting a clearer picture of what went wrong.
Sardar Movie Review: Script Analysis
In one line, P. S. Mithran’s story boils down to an ‘adarsh’ son reuniting with his dad who he thought was dead (and rouge), only to have a ‘Maula Mere Le Le Meri Jaan’ Chak De! India’s moment in the end. Amid this ‘image-cleansing’ process of people’s cop, the narrative cojoins with social issues of ‘free’ water turning into a commodity denoting a darker side of capitalism.
I know, it looks all intriguing & intellectual on the outside, but on the inside, it’s muddled with multiple miscalculated messes/misses. Not a single sub-plot supports the strings of the plot, making it hang through a solo strand of Karthi’s performance which, spoiler alert, isn’t enough to attract your attention. Things get too convenient in disguise of ‘building’ the sub-plots like a kid giving away answers in an exchange for ice cream.
Ruben’s editing drags the already hindering narrative making it unbearable to sit through even interesting sequences like the pre-Interval block. He could’ve found a choppy way to pack in all the information without elongating everything. George C. Williams’ camerawork comes to life only in the action sequences, as apart from that he takes a very routine approach to film the already crawling scenes.
Sardar Movie Review: Star Performance
The many shades of Karthi don’t really come across as a diversified approach to taking a character. The only difference between Sardar & Vijayprakash is the aged look achieved through prosthetics, while the treatment remains tiredly similar for every avatar he takes up. While he shines in some scenes, that’s the least you’d accept from someone who’s at this stage of his career.
Raashi Khanna displays an artificial act, also not getting any considerable help from the weak character sketch. Chunky Pandey remains to be a miscast, especially because of how the poor dubbing doesn’t allow you to take him seriously at any juncture. Laila’s character which seems to be interesting at the start is also a victim of getting eclipsed by the heroic elements of the film.
Mahaan Movie Review Rating:
Star Cast: Vikram, Dhruv Vikram, Simran, Bobby Simha, Sananth.
Director: Karthik Subbaraj
What’s Good: Vikram exists in a film to give it its style and the mood it needs. The steering wheel is always in his hands and this time around his son Dhruv Vikram helps his father to bring the needed panache.
What’s Bad: The runtime that stretches for almost three hours is a bit too much. The film definitely deserved some stronger women.
Loo Break: Not when Vikram is walking or Dhruv is in his quirky self. Even when they are sitting, just pause and go.
Watch or Not?: Watch it I suggest. The movie is a father-son drama but this duo is violent. Also, they are a real-life duo too.
Language: Tamil (with subtitles).
Available On: Amazon Prime Video
Runtime: 162 Minutes.
Gandhi Mahaan (Vikram), a man named after the Father Of The Nation and directed to live a life by his teachings, is broke loose when he decides to take a different path. His family abandons him and he builds an empire over several dead bodies. One fine day his estranged son returns only with the objective to kill the people who brought his father to the bad business. Who will Gandhi choose? What will make him Mahaan?
Mahaan Movie Review: Script Analysis
Mahaan – meaning the Great, is a story about a man wanting to break the shackles of normalcy and have a life of adventure. He helps his friend win the game of cards but doesn’t touch them himself, he fights for his dog, but is also scared of his family. Once grown up, the burden is unbearable and the moment he breaks free, he does everything that is wrong like it has always been his normal.
The movie that drives a whole lot on Vikram’s irresistible charm and style, is written in a way that the conflict is more personal than public and his principles should look alien to the world. He is born on August 16, but his father gets August 15 registered, he names him Gandhi Mahaan and expects him to walk on Gandhiji’s path. And this goes on for 40 long years. So when he punches a man for the first time, or drinks beer, or plays his first cards, it calls for a celebration. Karthik Subbaraj invests a whole lot of time in setting up the universe his characters are about to breathe in.
Once out in the open, he compensates the depth induced so far with exaggeration of the surrounding. Because post he leaves the Gandhian way of living, there is no ideology in his existence, it is now just about survival and making a lot of money. Mahaan travels through decades not years, and it’s lead keeps aging, so does the surrounding. One clash that stays eminent is between the ideologies. The politics of the land. The need for liquor ban, and the politics behind it that crushes the ones following it blindly.
The screenplay has enough to keep you hooked. A story that is meaty, characters that have had a journey and that reflects on their faces, the style, the complete aura. But the runtime and the abrupt pace kills some vibe too. At one point the movie explores Vikram’s Mahaan’s God Complex, a character even compares him to Jesus. The camera places him in front of a crucifix more than once, but the writing never goes ahead than that in that department.
What also bothers is the lack of stronger women in this universe. I say stronger, because Gandhi’s wife is indeed strong, but disappears for a very long time only to return with no consequence. Rest other women are either crying or cooking. The screenplay is also predictable in parts. You will see.
Mahaan Movie Review: Star Performance
Vikram can just make montages of him walking and people will pay to watch it. The man has an unique style and attitude that is rare and charming. He can portray multiple emotions in the single scene. And do we even need to tell you his finesse at doing action scenes? Even at this age he pulls off the most complex gun moves and make them all look believable.
Entering the arena opposite the actor is his real life son Dhruv Vikram. You can easily see the genes working when Dhruv has to go all crazy only to prove the eccentricity he holds in his mind to kill the ones who doomed his family. He brings the much needed antagonist alive and the conflict is enhanced.
Bobby Simha, Sananth, Simran and all others get their parts right and create characters that are three dimensional to watch.
Simran Movie Review: Rating: 3/5 Stars (Three stars)
Star Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Soham Shah, Manu Narayan, Aneesha Joshi, Rupinder Nagra, Mark Justice.
Director: Hansal Mehta
What’s Good: Every second Kangana Ranaut is in the frame & she’s almost there for the entire film, the character sketch of everyone, background music, Hansal Mehta exploring white, black & grey shades in one film.
What’s Bad: Some scenes are dragged & unnecessary, missed a London Thumakda kind of chartbuster.
Loo Break: Not at all! You’ll miss Kangana’s one of many brilliant expressions throughout the film.
Watch or Not?: Only if you’ve an appetite of digesting unconventional films. Though this will make you laugh your heart out.
Praful Patel (Kangana Ranaut) is an independent room keeper looking to own a house in Atlanta. She has her parents living in the town but wants to live life on her own terms. Facing some family issues, Praful is one of those girls who will make you smile even if her life is a disaster. On a trip to Las Vegas to attend a bachelorette party of her cousin, Praful gets addicted to gambling. This is where the issue starts & this is where the film takes an unconventional route.
Handling her professional and personal life, which by the way is a mess, Praful enters the dark shade of the film in the second half. Meeting Sameer (Soham Shah), trying to revive her fun-filled life and strangling in messier situations is a rough outline of the plot. Wait for the climax as it is the sweetest thing of the film. Watch out for how Praful becomes Simran and how you’ll fall in love with her with each passing scene.
Simran Review: Script Analysis
Where Hansal Mehta’s last film Aligarh was a dark sky, Simran is a shining cloud in his sky. It’s a painting – many will wonder what’s in it but the one who gets it will know the value of it. The film will never let you guess in which genre it falls. You’ll feel it’s a comedy with one scene when Mehta will slap you with an intense scene. From bargaining in Las Vegas till asking for free peanuts with a beer, Mehta has covered everything to show how Praful Patel is.
As Leos Carax, a French film director once said, “Cinema is a foreign language, a language created for those who need to travel to the other side of life.” Mehta uses this language in the film. Throughout the film, you’ll be intrigued to know what will be the end of the story. There are some drags in the film resulting few dead scenes here and there. It also sometimes questions your thinking ability but ignore it and enjoy what the film has to offer. Each character is written so well that even role of a bartender in the film will stay with you after all is over.
Simran Review: Star Performance
Simran is all about Kangana Ranaut, 5 minutes into the film and you know this is going to be special. We all know she can act well, but she achieves something bigger with this film – she speaks with her silence. Everyone thought what can come close to her brilliant performance in Queen, well Simran it is. From crying her heart out in one scene to making everyone laugh in other – Kangana does it all. Her magnetic smile, shouting eyes and priceless expressions makes this one of her best performances.
Each character plays the role very well. Though, I feel, Sohum Shah’s character should have been developed properly. He has his different characteristics but belittles himself in the shadow cast by the talent mounted by Kangana. The subplot between Kangana and her father is very well written and performed.
Business rating: 0.5 stars
Star cast: Kirron Kher, Kanwaljeet, Jackie Shroff, Divya Dutta, Viraf Patel, Sachin Sharma, Simran.
Plot: Mummy Punjabi is the story of a modern Punjabi mother (Kirron Kher) who has to deal with separation from her kids.
Language: English and Hindi dubbed
What’s Good: Kirron Kher’s performance; a few comedy scenes.
What’s Bad: The scattered screenplay; the average music; the absence of face value.
Verdict: Although it is an honest attempt, Mummy Punjabi has bleak prospects at the box-office.
Loo break: Several in the first half.
Watch it or not?: Watch it for Kirron Kher’s performance and the emotion-filled climax.
Creative Steps Productions’ Mummy Punjabi is the story of a mother who has to deal with changes when her kids get married. Babyji a.k.a. Mummyji (Kirron Kher) is a modern mother who lives in Chandigarh with her husband (Kanwaljeet) and their three adult children. While she gives full freedom to her young daughter (Simran), Mummyji is rather protective of her two sons, of whom one (Sachin Sharma) is a doctor and the other (Viraf Patel), a restaurateur. Mummyji dreams of marrying off the doctor-son to an NRI girl, while she wants a homely girl for the other son. In spite of her husband’s pleas, she gives her daughter a free hand to do whatever she wants.
A Sikh bachelor (Jackie Shroff), who was Mummyji’s college classmate, stays close to their house and often visits the family. He openly admires Mummyji. Her husband takes this in good humour as he is also friends with the bachelor. A maid (Divya Dutta) is the gossip-monger of the housing society.
Soon, Mummyji finds suitable brides for her two sons. To her surprise, the brides, who seem to fit into her criteria for her daughters-in-law, reveal their true colours afterwards. While her homely daughter-in-law breaks into an outrageous dance at her younger son’s wedding, her NRI daughter-in-law turns out to be a cheat, who was trying to swindle the family! However, life soon returns to normalcy as the daughters-in-law come around. Next, Mummyji also discovers that her son has actually been operating a night-club and had lied to her about running a restaurant. Mummyji is aghast but takes it in her stride. Soon, both her sons and their wives leave for the US for better prospects. An ageing Mummyji and husband are left behind alone with the daughter. Mummyji’s bachelor-friend also gets married. Even her daughter finds a good suitor and marries him. What happens next? Does Mummyji continue living life as she always has, or does her life change? What about her children and their spouses? The rest of the film and the climax answer these questions.
Mummy Punjabi – Script Analysis
Pammi Somal’s story is routine but it had good scope for drama. However, the film’s screenplay, also penned by Pammi Somal, is not as well written as it should have been since it often gets off-track and focuses on sub-plots which give the feeling that the main story – that of Mummyji and her family – is being neglected. The establishment of Mummyji’s character takes too much time and footage, boring the audience in the process. Several scenes – particularly in which the bachelor is wooing Mummyji, in which Munni (the maid) is gossiping about all and sundry, in which Mummyji goes to party at her son’s night club – seem superfluous. The scenes showing Mummyji interacting with her husband and sons get repetitive and boring after a point in time. The problems that arise when her sons get married seem rather trivial because they have been treated in that fashion. Several scenes seem half-complete. In the scene where the ‘homely’ daughter-in-law breaks into a raunchy dance, the music playing in the background, which is what the viewers can hear, does not simply match with her dance steps. Worse still, the daughter-in-law seems to be singing a song, but the audience can’t hear anything because the words of her song have been drowned in the loud background score! Another minus point is that the film, for no apparent reason, has been made in English.
Not to say that the film doesn’t have its merits. There are a few comedy scenes and a very emotional sequence in the climax. But apart from this, there is little that the film offers by way of entertainment.
Mummy Punjabi – Performances & Direction
Kirron Kher lives the role of Mummyji. She plays the endearing and emotional screen mother ably. A fine performance, indeed! Kanwaljeet is very good as Mummyji’s husband. Jackie Shroff is okay in a bit role. His fake beard looks irritating. Divya Dutta does well as the maid. Viraf Patel and Sachin Sharma do average jobs. Nimisha Goswami and Urvashi Gandhi, as Mummyji’s daughters-in-law, do below-average jobs. Anju Mahendru (as Jackie Shroff’s sister), Simran (as Mummyji’s daughter), Satish Kaushik (as the marriage bureau owner) and Rohit Roy (as Mummyji’s online friend) support well. Gurdas Maan is alright in a special appearance.
Pammi Somal’s direction is okay. She seems to have concentrated too much on making the character of Mummyji lovable and very little on making her narrative more impactful. Aadesh Shrivastava’s music is ordinary. Lyrics, by Sameer, are okay. Of the four songs in the film, none is memorable. The background score is appropriate. Camerawork is ordinary. Editing should have been sharper.
Mummy Punjabi – The Last Word
On the whole, Mummy Punjabi is a dull fare. The lack of face value and tough competition from Bodyguard will seal its fate at the box-office.