Chef Review

"This seems to be Radha Menon's conspiracy to dilute the legacy  of the 'loins' of Punjab", says Saif Ali Khan, the Chandni Chowk bred boy whose son fails to understand what is Chole Bhature. It is definitely a matter of concern for the north Indian man, once married to a Malayali woman who left him for his inability to understand her desire for attention from her husband and moved back to her native town Kochi.

Roshan Kalra's first love since adolescence was food and the smell of it. He would run away from home to learn cooking, as his father played by veteran Ram Gopal Bajaj detests the idea of a man burning his fingers in the kitchen. He should grow up to be a doctor or an engineer. Roshan struggles to find a job in a restaurant, kills rats, sleeps on the floor and one fine day, makes it big in the United States of America. Did you read the recent news story of an Indian who makes 4 crore a year selling Vada Pav? Well Indians understand the global taste buds and given a chance, they can strike gold in the culinary world especially in the west. Roshan was a man who did it.

A remake of an English film Chef ( 2014) which starred Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downing Jr. and Scarlett Johansson, this film directed by Raja Krishna Menon explores relationships without any bitterness. Menon who earlier directed Airlift with Akshay Kumar , sketches a very likeable and humane character of a man who is capable of love but ends up losing it. He shows Saif Ali Khan like he really is, suave and definitely a gentleman. The character sketch of Roshan Kalra is one of the finest films in the film. He is a little unpredictable, a lot of fun, non-judgmental, easy going man who does not show any signs of chauvinism even as his ex-wife throws the idea of her remarriage to him. He comes and stays inside her house, jokes with the staff and even establishes a calm relationship with his ex-wife’s partner. This character is refreshing and something really out of the box for an average bollywood movie watcher and much of the film's appeal comes from the witty humor and style showcased by Saif Ali Khan. 

The best thing about the film is that it's life flowing on celluloid. Dialogues by Ritesh Shah are simple, funny and witty. Characters are believable and the natural landscape of Kerala put on screen by Cinematographer Priya Seth is alluring. Roshan Kalra's scenes with his son who he had rarely spent time with  are endearing and sketches a beautiful relationship between a father and son where both understand each other's perspective. 

On the flip side, the film starts to falter after the interval. The story meanders without much of a clarity about where it is heading. The screenplay is inconsistent losing the common thread and a motive, concentrating only on the scenes between characters and not the entire story. Indeed they are fun but where are we all going ? Also the very thing the film is based on – Food, there aren't many scenes celebrating food. The delicious shots of cooking, colors on a plate, the process of putting the spices together, the variety of edibles, the creativity of a chef, his inspiration; we are made to be drawn more towards the chef's personal life than the food that he cooks and that is such an opportunity lost. Shots of good food can really make for great visual imagery and here is where the director loses out on a few points. But Saif's wit and dialogue delivery often makes up for this vacuum.

Also the end to the film is  a hurried climax signifying that director had bitten off more than he could chew. All characters come in one scene with some of them behaving exactly opposite of the brief given to them in the beginning of the film.

It’s a slice of life worth eating while we know it could have been so much more delicious.

3 Stars  

10 Reasons Why Ranveer Singh Is A Youth Icon

Ranveer Singh is one of the coolest celebrities from the current generation. Known for his quirky style and fun loving attitude, he did not take long before making his place in the hearts of the millions.

Being a multitalented artist, he has become one of the most influential youth icons for today’s generation. On the occasion of his 32nd Birthday, we have put together 10 reasons why he Ranveer Singh is considered an icon.

1. He has the quirkiest sense of fashion in the whole of Bollywood

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2. He wears his confidence on his sleeves

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3. He treats his partner like a Queen giving every Indian major relationship goals

4. He has a lively sense of humor

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5. He is one of the most talented actors in the Bollywood industry

6. He does not shy away from taking risks

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7. He takes criticism and jokes like a boss

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8. He is highly active on the internet and makes the coolest videos

9. He knows how to deal with the media

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10. No matter his age, he is always a young active boy at heart

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Do you agree with us?

Another Kapoor Grandson To Enter The Bollywood Industry?

The Kapoor Khandan is a well-established B-Town family who have made their place in the hearts of the masses. After giving the millennials a great number of artists like Kareena Kapoor, Karishma Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor, another grandchild of Raj Kapoor is ready to make an entry into the Bollywood industry.

Aadar Jain is the son of Reema Jain, who is the daughter of the legendary actor Raj Kapoor. Aadar Jain is going to be launched by none other than Aditya Chopra. First introduced to Adi on the sets of Karan Johar’s movie, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Jain is an alumnus of the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.

Aadar will be formally launched into the industry as an article today by his cousin Ranbir Kapoor and actress Anushka Sharma. He will be working in YRF’s latest romantic drama project which will be directed by Habib Faisal. There will be another fresh face that will be launched alongside Aadar, named Anya Singh.

When asked about the movie, here’s what YRF’s casting director Sahnoo Sharma had to say, “Habib’s film happened by chance. Aadar was busy assisting on ADHM. After that, he was thinking about what to do next when I asked him to audition for the film. I love casting for Mr. Habib as he makes it your most difficult job. I get to learn so much from him. We had tested a lot of newcomers for this part and then I brought it up again with Adi. Aadar was not fully trained, but Habib Sir liked him and he got the film.

When asked about nepotism in the film industry, here what Shanoo had to say. “In the film industry, people from the biggest film families are rejected whereas a boy from nowhere can become a big star. Aadar did not get Habib's film because he is Raj Kapoor's grandson, but because this boy has it in him. It has to be the perfect casting.

We are super excited to see what Aadar has to offer to the Bollywood industry and we wish him all the very best!

The Jagga Jasoos trailer is just as unique as Ranbir Kapoor’s character

Jagga Jasoos has piqued the interest of many ever since the first looks of Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif’s characters came out. After waiting for almost a year, the release date has finally started coming closer.

The songs from the movie have been the perfect dose of entertainment that have teased us for more. And now, after the long wait the producers have finally decided to treat us to more. Much more!

Katrina and Ranbir took to social media and announced the release of their movie trailer in a very Jagga Jasoos style.

 

#mansplaining #justjokingguys #loveandpeace #pleasewatchourtrailer #jaggajasoostrailer #chillax . 😜

A post shared by Katrina Kaif (@katrinakaif) on

The trailer, we must agree has kept up to our expectations. The movie trailer remains true to the characters and their personality. Every shot demands attention only leaving us wanting more. Blink and you might miss out on something unique. Check out the video below.        

Are you excited for the movie release?

Salman brings Gandhian principles to Life

Salman Khan is on a roller coaster right now. He wants to act in the best films, choose the best scripts and in this pursuit he is even ready to give up on his Star persona, if it fits his role. Starting from Bajrangi Bhaijaan to Sultan, we saw a different Salman, a far cry from what has been given to us by popular media. Film Tubelight makes us respect him more for the craft that he believes in and simply his intention to be called a very good actor now. In Tubelight, you neither see a wrestler, nor a lover boy and definitely not a gangster. He is innocent, slow, willing to learn new tricks of acting and definitely taking a lot of risks on the way.

Tubelight is an official adaptation of an American film – Little Boy. In contrast to a little kid playing the character there, here we have a 50 year old behaving like a child. Cashing in on the popularity that Bajrangi’s character enjoyed, Salman Khan steps into the shoes of another ‘boy next door’- Laxman Singh Bisht. He is mentally slow, takes things on face value and takes time to rise to the occasion.  His Chacha, Om puri, a staunch Gandhian and promoter of non-violence teaches him a few theories of Gandhi which change the course of his destiny.

Yakeen ho to Chattan ko bhi hilaya ja sakta hai. And the problems that seem as big as a mountain can be moved too.

If your brother is fighting a war with the Chinese Army, is it possible to live with a family of Chinese descent with peace and love ? yes, because Gandhi fought a war and beat the British without hating them at all. What a beautiful thought to be making a film on. I loved the Idea.

In the film you see the world of 1960s, radio is your first love and the only medium to keep abreast with the world. In terms of art direction there is nothing new or unique but the setting definitely provides a fresh visual to the eyes.  The most lovable and moving parts of the film are ones where we see Om puri in his conventional baritone voice and splendid natural grace. Never overdoing things. For a moment you shed a tear at the thought that we will not see this actor oar excellence again as this one was his last. 

Having said that, he still seems underutilized in the film.

Salman Khan tries to deliver the most memorable film of his life by blindly trusting the director and writers, often to be disappointed by them.  What comes across as an inspiration from Tom Hanks’ film Forest Gump, he is dumb but good at heart, largely relying on the few cringing expressions and lot of tears. You would be moved by Salman in a few scenes though. He doesn’t shy away from looking absurd or childish. Mostly wearing old styled sweaters and torn shoes, it does look adorable.  

What else is good, well the music. Its seamless. What does not work for the film, It’s the writing of the film that takes away from all the charm. Tubelight will always be compared with Kabir and Salman’s terrific director – actor pairing in Ek Tha Tiger and Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Tubelight is a disappointment in this series. The writing is patchy, inconsistent and plain dull. The brilliant story on the paper never gets translated into a heart wrenching, moving film. Unlike in Bajrangi Bhaijaan we never came to the edge of our seat. Neither with awe, nor with thrill.

 Sohail as a brother to Salman is obviously most natural in this relationship on screen. As a respite, we see a fresh face in the film as opposed to the starlets of the film industry. The scenes between Chinese actress Zhu Zhu and Salman exuded freshness but it’s the little boy from Arunachal Pradesh – Matin Rey Tangu who gets the cake and eats it too.

While the film tries to convey a very valid point and message, how Gandhiji’s teachings are still relevant in today’s times, can we beat our opponent with sheer love?, Salman’s fans can be in for a little disappointment as his traditional moves, the anger, romance, the twinkle in his eyes, the unpredictability of his demeanor , his desi dance moves, the traditional Salman Khan charm is missing here. Also the editor saved too much reel by keeping the scenes long and cumbersome.

However, Shahrukh Khan’s cameo adds zing to the beginning sequence. The two mega stars coming together in one frame after  decades is certainly worth a whistle. The few wrinkles on each face are also reflective of the time we all have lived watching the both of them.

It’s a sweet film with no space for negativity. Film is emotional in parts but largely remains dull filmmaking.  

2.5 stars 

A story of reincarnation with adolescent simplicity, puppy love & immature supervision thrown in.

Two men were in love with the same girl, in both lives, today and 800 years back. Separated by a lifetime, same things happen to them and they must meet the same end if one of them does not muster courage to alter it.

When Shiv and Saira meet in Budapest, they instantly connect. They spend 2 days and one night together. Just when we thought they were made for each other Saira asks him to get out of the house as she already has a boyfriend! She says, we hardly know each other while she had casually slept with him last night. It became obvious that the film is made to appeal to the young college going crowd that believes in ‘no strings being attached’.  There are young, good looking actors, lovely clothes, great European locations and beautifully shot landscapes with a bit of fun and romance thrown in here.

Sushant Singh Rajput as an actor has a quality that appeals to most people of all ages. In this film he exudes boyish charm, carries a romantic aura, and a vulnerability that was very  well capitalized on by film M S Dhoni. These qualities of his, work very well for this film as most of the first half is spent convincing the viewer how  adorable is the boy and girl on that celluloid. Producer turned director Dinesh Vijan probably forgot that the couple in the lead here is not Shahrukh Khan and Kajol who could carry the entire first half on their romantic histrionics. Actor Jim Sarbh makes an entry much to our relief just before the interval, cutting short the monotony of  this romance.

Jim Sarbh has been  getting rave reviews ever since he played a terrorist in film Neerja. In this film, as Zakir merchant aka Zac, he offers layered nuances of performance, uses his body language effectively to put across the character of a psychic lover who would kill to win. But in both his lives, his Hindi dialogues with a heavy American accent took away a lot of mystique from his character. Also the character was so dismally written that Zac becomes laughing stock in most parts while he had the potential to scorch the screen like in Neerja.  

I could draw parallel between Raabta and Rakesh Om Prakash Mehra’s Mirzya as the character of Sahiba is common to both and so is Saahiba’s confused love. The scenes shot by cinematographer Martin Priess  in the beautiful island for the past life track are breathtaking, especially the fight scenes between the tribe Murarka’s head Jilaan played by Sushant singh Rajput, Kriti and Sarbh. But that is not enough to keep the interest in the film. Also the character of the oldest man in the tribe played by Raj Kumar Rao was a bewildering spectacle but could have been used more effectively in the storyline. He would mostly talk in rhyme, in an accent that to me sounded Awadhi – Muraka kabhi na haara, usey dhokhey ne maara.

The film boasts of good looking actors, great wardrobe, lovely locations, you can’t take your eyes off the screen but it’s difficult to be emotionally invested in the characters. We never cared when the characters laughed or cried. The film constantly changes its temperament. In the middle of a crisis,  the characters were cracking jokes.  

Raabta is somewhere between a thriller and a romance and tries to be a little of everything. I was mostly glued to its cinematography and styling. Rest all seemed less fascinating.

2 Stars