Copyright 2017 - ClickCelebs

Ahista Ahista

In a way, AHISTA AHISTA also belongs to the Hrishi-da/Basu-da genre. The storyline is simple, the situations seem straight out of life and just when you thought that the film would charter the routine path, the twist in the story takes you by surprise.

But there's a flip side too…

The setting and also the content of the film -- even though well made and laced with interesting performances -- is ideally suited for [select] multiplexes and also television/DVD circuit. In today's times, when the economics of the industry has undergone a drastic change, with movie-going experience correlated with big-budget ventures mainly, a medium-budget film sans glamour would find it difficult to float.

Ankush [Abhay Deol] scrapes a living by acting as a witness in the marriage registrar's office in Delhi. Megha [Soha Ali Khan] has run away from her home in Nainital to marry her love Dheeraj [Shayan Munshi]. But Dheeraj doesn't turn up at the appointed hour.

Ankush helps Megha get a job at an old age home so that she has the security of a roof over her head. As time passes by, Megha realizes that there's more to life than her boyfriend. Simultaneously, Ankush realizes that the Rs. 10,000 loan he had taken for Megha's sake was sitting heavy on him. He ends up as a bank's representative who opens savings accounts at a commission. Ankush feels that he has changed because of Megha and her faith in him.

  Everything seems to be falling in place for Ankush. A relationship of sorts develops between the two and Megha decides to leave her past and Dheeraj behind and embrace the future with Ankush. At this point, Dheeraj returns. He is persistent in his search for Megha. Ankush's new-found world crumbles…

AHISTA AHISTA doesn't give an impression that it's directed by a first-timer [Shivam Nair]. Shivam's storytelling is simple and strikes a fine balance between dramatic and light moments. A number of sequences, especially between Abhay and Soha, are sensitively treated. If the emotional scenes strike a chord and a few dramatic portions are shot with flourish [Abhay slapping Shakeel Khan], a couple of light moments [Abhay pretends that he has come to meet a senior citizen in the old age home and the conversation that follows] succeed in bringing a smile on your face.

But the film is not without its share of weaknesses. First and foremost, the story unravels at a lethargic pace. It gets so slow-paced that you actually start feeling restless after a point. Besides, there's no scope for songs in the narrative and the ones in the second hour look completely forced. In fact, a few songs can easily be deleted to make the goings-on crisper.

But the biggest flaw is its climax. If you're a true-blue Bollywood fan who wants the lead pair to unite and lead a life of bliss, you'd be disappointed here. When Shayan explains his point of view, Soha says she's torn between the two men and finds herself at crossroads. So far, so good. But why does Soha return to her first love when she has moved on in life? Does that mean that her feelings for Abhay were phony and superficial? Was she using him or playing with his emotions all through? That makes Soha appear like an opportunist and that is a glaring defect from the writing point of view.

  Himesh Reshammiya's music is soft and easy on the ears, but the songs look like a forced ingredient. Cinematography [Prakash Kutty] is superb. It's refreshing to watch Delhi on the big screen yet again [after RANG DE BASANTI].

Abhay Deol is a complete natural. His boy-next-door looks make the character more believable, more convincing. In minimal makeup and sporting a simple look all through, Soha catches your attention once again. The petite actress is only getting better with every film. Shayan Munshi is competent in a small role. Shakeel Khan, as Abhay's Muslim friend, is good. Sohrab Ardeshir is theatrical. Kamini Khanna is loud.

On the whole, AHISTA AHISTA has decent merits. But lack of face-value will prove to be a stumbling block, from the box-office point of view. Its fate will depend on a strong word of mouth, which might help in select multiplexes only.

Producer
 Anjum Rizvi

Director
 Shivam Nair

Star Cast
 Abhay Deol...... Ankush
 Soha Khan...... Megha
 Shayan Munshi...... Dheeraj
 Shakeel Khan
 Kamini Khanna
 Sohrab Ardeshir

Singers
 Himesh Reshammiya
 K K
 Jayesh Gandhi
 Sunidhi Chauhan
 Aftab Hashmi Sabri
 Kunal Ganjawala
 Tulsi Kumar

Lyricist
 Irshad Kamil
 Sameer

Music Director
 Himesh Reshammiya

Cinematography
 Prakash Kutty

Screenplay
 Imtiaz Ali

Sound
 Rakesh Ranjan

Story / Writer
 Imtiaz Ali

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna

With KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI and KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM, his directorial accomplishments, Karan Johar has set such high standards that an all-important question crosses your mind as you walk into the screening: Will Karan surpass his own achievements with KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA?

Book Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna movie tickets online
KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA is also an acid test for Karan for yet another reason. It's the first time that Karan has changed tracks. Agreed, the supremely talented director has tackled romance and relationships in the past, but KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA goes a step further. It takes a bold look at relationships and makes an equally bold statement on the institution of marriage.

Just don't expect KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA to be a typical candyfloss entertainer. Or an archetypal fare that Bollywood is known for. In those 3.06 hours/22 reels, Karan packs in some solid stuff. And the conclusion to the story is bound to hit the orthodox elements hard. A film like KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA is sure to have its share of advocates and adversaries no doubt, but it's a film that has the courage to say what it believes in.

There are bound to be comparisons with films of similar genre. But let's put certain myths to rest at the very outset. The story revolves around two couples, but it's not CLOSER [Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen], it's not SILSILA either. The speculation should end there. Karan's take on relationships is fresh, bold and innovative. It takes you by surprise. It shocks you as well. And it's also trend-setting.

Frankly, a film like KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA is akin to a big gamble. The subject matter has to be treated cautiously and delicately, or else it can boomerang badly. It might even hurt the sensibilities if entrusted in wrong hands. But Karan's skilled directorial abilities take the film to a different level altogether. The film charters a novel path as it progresses and gets bolder gradually.

In a nutshell, KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA bears the unmistakable stamp of a genius -- Karan Johar. The master storyteller only polishes his skills further, proving yet again that he's a forward-thinker and also, a progressive storyteller.

KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA narrates the story of two families -- Sarans and Talwars -- both not connected to one another. But circumstances bring them together. Dev Saran [Shah Rukh Khan] has an uneasy and troubled relationship with his wife Rhea [Preity Zinta] and son Arjun [child artist Ahsaas]. He resents his wife's growing success and in the process, ends up turning all his anger towards his loved ones.

Maya Talwar's [Rani Mukherji] relationship with her husband Rishi [Abhishek Bachchan] is layered with a lot of self-doubt and question. She is unable to whip up enough passion for Rishi and is disappointed that her love for him does not match her own expectations of what it ought to be. This dilemma pulls her further apart from him, thereby causing a strain on their marital life.

One fine day, Dev and Maya's path cross each other…

KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA starts like a nice romantic drama, with Abhishek getting married to his childhood sweetheart and SRK talking to his wife about the $ 5 million deal after he has won a game of soccer. But minutes later, the film does a 180-degree turn and establishes the friction between the two couples.

The tension between the couples surfaces gradually, but reaches the crescendo 20 minutes before intermission. The spat between SRK and Preity on one hand [Preity: “I wear the pants in this house”], followed by the heated argument between Abhishek and Rani [Abhishek: “You can't even bear a child”] is amongst the most remarkable portions in the film. These sequences hit you like a ton of bricks!

It's not that the first half is laced with tense-filled moments. In fact, the first hour-and-a-half has light portions in abundance. Amitabh Bachchan's philandering lifestyle provides ample moments of laughter and of course, eye-candy, what with some gorgeous firang babes jumping out of the closet.

In the post-interval portions, infidelities occur, betrayals are discovered and the couples' worlds go upside down. The sequence at the dinner [Sr. Bachchan hosts a sit-down dinner on Kiron Kher's birthday], when SRK expresses his feelings, or when SRK opens up to Preity and Rani to Abhishek about the affairs are master strokes from the writing and execution point of view. Note another scene: SRK waiting with a bouquet of roses for Rani and by a sheer coincidence, Preity walks in at that time at the signal crossing. This sequence [it depends on treatment alone] deserves distinction marks.

The end is powerful, but disturbing. Disturbing for those who believe in the age-old traditions. The film moves about in a serpentine fashion. Just when you thought that the couples have decided to go separate ways, there's another twist in the tale and yet another, in the end.

Karan Johar takes colossal strides as a storyteller. Films like K.K.H.H. and K.K.K.G. were the tip of the iceberg. Karan's take on relationships and marriages is refreshingly different because there's tremendous identification with the characters. You see it happening all around you these days. Technically too, this is Karan's finest work to date; he balances style and substance beautifully.

KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA is not a date film and the writers [Karan Johar, Shibani Bathija] spell it out at the very outset. The screenplay balances the two extremes -- light moments and dollops of emotions -- with amazing ease. The relationship between the couples or even those between the parent and child [the Bachchans] is delicately handled. If there are moments that move you to tears, there are ample moments that bring a smile to your face as well. Another noteworthy aspect is its forthright dialogues [Niranjan Iyengar]. The lines sound straight of life and there also exist a host of interesting observations. Yes, the film is talky, but in a smart way. You never feel that the characters are talking to hear their own words or to fill up screen time.

Anil Mehta's cinematography is awesome. The film has been filmed in New York and the lensman captures the various seasons and colors with gusto. The outcome is easily comparable to the best in Hollywood. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music is melodious. 'Mitwa', 'Rock N Roll Soniye' and 'Where's The Party Tonite' appeal also due to the vibrant choreography [Farah Khan]. The styling and the production values are topnotch. Editing could be tighter. A bit of trimming, in the first half mainly, would only sparkle the film further.

In KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA, the actors get a chance to shine and no one shines brighter than Shah Rukh Khan. Let's just state one thing here: This is SRK's finest work after D.D.L.J. His sequences with Preity specifically, when the couple has their spats, or in the climax, when he just stares at Rani from inside the train, proves that he's undoubtedly the best in the business. The ferocity with which he delivers his lines and the restless energy he imparts to his character electrifies every scene that he's in.

Rani is remarkable yet again. In fact, if you consider BLACK to be her most memorable performance so far, then watch her in KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA. This surpasses her work in BLACK or VEER-ZAARA and PAHELI. Her makeup as well as her overall appearance is tremendous. She's never looked as good before!

It would be unfair to describe either Abhishek Bachchan or Preity Zinta's performances as 'lesser'. Abhishek is brilliant, especially when he gets serious towards the end. His penultimate sequence, when he gives a golden advice to Rani, is outstanding. Preity not only looks gorgeous, but the dedication to her role shows at vital points. Her penultimate scene with Rani, when she confronts her at the marriage reception, is fabulous.

Amitabh Bachchan is in superb form. The naughty streak that he displays soon disappears in the second half, when he realizes that something is amiss. In fact, his expressions at the dinner first and also in the hospital only reiterates the fact that he's an icon. Kirron Kher excels in a brief but significant role. Arjun Rampal looks perfect for the part. Kajol and John Abraham [both appear in songs] add to the glamour quotient. Child artist Ahsaas looks cute and acts well.

On the whole, KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA is an outstanding film from the writing, performance and execution point of view. It has style, substance, it takes challenges and doesn't follow formulas -- and that is its biggest strength. At the box-office, the film will embark on a hurricane-like start, establishing new records in days to come. The first weekend will be superb, while the weekdays [15th and 16th August are also holidays] will result in a record-shattering first week billing. With no opposition in sight for the next few weeks, KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA will have a dream run at the box-office. Its business in Overseas will also be remarkable. Has the potential to prove the biggest money spinner in this territory.


Director
Karan Johar

Star Cast
Amitabh Bachchan...... Samarjit Singh Talwar aka Sam
Shahrukh Khan...... Dev Saran
Rani Mukherjee...... Maya Talwar
Preity Zinta...... Rhea Saran
Abhishek Bachchan...... Rishi Talwar
Kirron Kher...... Kamaljeet Saran
Arjun Rampal
Ahsaas Channa
Ritesh Deshmukh
Kajol
John Abraham...... disc jockey

Cassettes and CD's on
Sony Music

Singers
Sonu Nigam
Alka Yagnik
Shankar Mahadevan
Caralisa
Shaan
Vasundhara Das
Loy Mendonca
Shafqat Amanat Ali
Mahalakshmi Iyer
Shweta Pandit

Lyricist
Javed Akhtar

Music Director
Ehsaan Noorani
Loy Mendonca
Shankar Mahadevan

Costume
Manish Malhotra

Publicity Designs
HR Enterprises

Publicity Stills
Subi Samuel
Atul Kasbekar

Story / Writer
Karan Johar
Shibani Bathija

Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota

In his very first outing, Naseer decides to narrate four parallel stories in those 2.05 hours. Of course, several storytellers have made an effort to narrate multiple stories in one film, notable among them being Mani Ratnam [YUVA], RGV [DARNA MANA HAI, DARNA ZAROORI HAI], Khalid Mohamed [SILSIILAY] and Samar Khan [KUCHH MEETHA HO JAYE].

However, YUN HOTA TO KYA HOTA… WHAT IF? is the first Hindi film that makes an effort to present the 9/11 tragedy that struck America and had repercussions the world over. Although the penultimate portions of the film may appear similar to UNITED 93 [released in the U.S. in April this year], the fact remains that YUN HOTA TO KYA HOTA… WHAT IF? is a genuinely different attempt as it packs in a lot in those two hours, besides the devastating tragedy.

The vital question is, does Naseer's directorial debut make a solid impact as a movie? Yes and no! YUN HOTA TO KYA HOTA… WHAT IF? works because three of the four stories are interesting to watch, but the film runs out of steam towards its climax. The ending looks so abrupt that you are taken aback when the end titles start rolling.

The director has worked extremely hard on building the drama and the moment the camera zooms to September 11 and stays focused on the date for a good 30-45 seconds, you expect a nail-biting, hair-raising culmination. But the film ends in the next few minutes, making you wonder whether the director was in a hurry to end the film or was a substantial footage scissored on the editing table.

Another aspect that goes against the film is that portions of the film have been treated with a touch of realism and at times, the commercial aspect takes over. Agreed, the stories are identifiable and the characters are those that we encounter in our day-to-day life, but it's the treatment that has its limitations.

Story 1: Tilottima [Konkona Sensharma] is married to Hemant [Jimmy Shergill], who she met through the Net. Their honeymoon is cut short because he has to return to his job in the U.S. Tilottima is desperate to reach U.S., but has to face an irate mother-in-law [Carla Singh] in the process. She manages a visa and heads for L.A.

Story 2: Salim [Irrfan Khan] is the stockbroker son of a Godmother [Saroj Khan]. He's besotted by the much older but sensuous Namrata [Suhasini Mulay]. Even as he involuntarily gets involved in a killing [Boman Irani], he discovers that she has been cheating on him. Before the shattered man can gather his wits, his mother forces him to pack his bags and flee the country before he's implicated.

Story 3: Rahul [Ankur Khanna] is a brilliant but poor student who's already got admission into a prestigious university abroad. But he's hardly excited, nor appears to be too keen on going because of a lack of funds and an incapacitated father. Almost overnight, almost magically, all his problems get sorted out thanks to a friend [Ayesha Takia] and he finds himself flying out to a brighter future.

Story 4: Rajubhai [Paresh Rawal] is a small-time organizer of foreign shows. To be a part of his show will cost an aspiring dancer/singer a few cool lakhs. Old flame Tara [Ratna Pathak Shah] mortgages her house so that Rajubhai would include her only daughter [Shahana Goswami] into his show. And so the seasoned and hardened Rajubhai finds himself fathering a wide eyed, innocent girl on her first trip abroad.

Tilottima, Salim, Rahul and Rajubhai from four disparate worlds, with distinct hopes and diverse motives, encounter something drastic…

Of the four stories, the ones that stand out are the Jimmy-Konkona and Paresh-Ratna tracks. The constant bickering of the mother-in-law [Carla] and her dislike for the new bride [Konkona] is smartly depicted. The portion at the U.S. Consulate -- Konkona's interview for a Tourist Visa -- is another noteworthy twist in the tale. But the culmination to this story is unclear. Why doesn't Konkona make a phone call to her husband, clarifying that she couldn't board the ill-fated flight and that she's very much alive? Also, didn't the director feel it's important to show that the newly-married couple has reunited? That's a glaring loophole!

The Paresh-Ratna story is by far the best segment in the film. The simple story appears straight out of life and that's one of the prime reasons why it strikes a chord. With a drunkard-husband abusing her constantly, the trauma and hardship that the woman [Ratna] goes through to raise funds to run her kitchen as also send her daughter to the U.S. for a better future, is deftly depicted. The sequences involving Paresh and Ratna are the highpoint of the enterprise. Also, the sequence at the U.S. Consulate -- when Paresh and the girl break into a song to convince the Officer [Rajat Kapoor] -- is expertly enacted.

The Irrfan-Suhasini chapter is alright, in terms of writing and also execution. The twist in the tale -- when Irrfan catches Suhasini cheating on him -- holds your attention. Resultantly, Irrfan walks out on her and flies to the U.S. However, the man is still in love with the woman and makes calls to her. But how and why does Suhasini have a change of heart? Why does she suddenly beg for forgiveness when the fact remains that it was she who had closed the door on him with her actions?

The weakest link in the film is the Ankur Khanna-Ayesha Takia-Sameer Sheikh-Imaad Shah part. The story could've been interesting had the writer spelt out the true feelings of the two main characters [Ankur, Ayesha] for one another. Is Ayesha in love with Ankur? Or is she not? Is that one of the reasons why she sponsors his travel to the U.S.? And why does Sameer constantly ridicule Mumbai/India? Agreed, every city has its share of plusses and minusses, but to come down so heavily on the city leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

Directorially, Naseer works best when he tackles drama. He has executed a number of sequences with flourish, not making you feel even once that the film has been helmed by a first-timer. But the rough edges do show as the script [writer: Uttam Gada] leaves a few questions unanswered. There's no scope for music [Viju Shah] in the film, yet the theme song has a haunting feel to it. Cinematography [Hemant Chaturvedi] is consistent. The D.O.P. captures the bylanes of Mumbai with as much flourish as Manhattan.

The film has an ensemble cast, but the characters you take home are in this order: Paresh Rawal [superb], Konkona Sen Sharma [brilliant], Ratna Pathak Shah [first-rate], Jimmy Shergill [efficient], Irrfan Khan [competent], Carla Singh [proficient], Sameer Sheikh [able] and Saroj Khan [a complete natural].

The remaining cast -- Ayesha Takia, Boman Irani, Rajat Kapoor, Ankur Khanna, Karan Khanna, Shahana Goswami, Imaad Shah, Ravi Baswani, Suhasini Mulay and Tinnu Anand -- are passable. Makrand Deshpande and Ranveer Shorey feature in inconsequential roles.

On the whole, YUN HOTA TO KYA HOTA… WHAT IF? is a well-intentioned film, but the sudden ending and the missing links in the script make things go awry. At the box-office, the film caters to the multiplex crowd only, but even this segment wouldn't feel completely satiated.


Producer
Shabbir Boxwala

Director
Naseruddin Shah

Star Cast
Jimmy Shergill...... Hemant Punj
Konkona Sen Sharma...... Tilottima Das-Punj
Ravi Baswani...... Hemant's father
Irrfan Khan...... Salim Rajabali
Karan Khanna...... Salim's brother
Boman Irani...... special appearance
Suhasini Mulay...... Namrata
Saroj Khan...... Salim's mother
Paresh Rawal...... Rajubhai Patel
Tinu Anand
Ratna Pathak...... Tara
Ankur Khanna...... Rahul Bhide
Ayesha Takia...... Khushboo
Ranveer Shourey...... special appearance
Makrand Deshpande...... special appearance
Rajat Kapoor...... special appearance
Shahana Goswami
Meghna Malik
Uttkarsh Majumdar
Imaad Shah
Trishla Patel
Sameer Sheikh
Naseruddin Shah...... narrator

Cassettes and CD's on
Times Music

Singers
Kunal Ganjawala
Sunidhi Chauhan
Madhushree
Javed Ali
Kirti Sagathia
Devchand Gadhvi
Paresh Rawal
Joi Barua

Lyricist
Sameer

Music Director
Viju Shah

Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
Huzeifa Lakdawala

Cinematography
Hemant Chaturvedi

Choreography
Farah Khan
Piyush Panchal

Action
Allan Amin

Editor
Hina Saiyada

Sound
Narendra Singh

PRO
Parag Desai

Official Website Designer
Glamsham

Visual Effects
Tata Elxsi

Publicity Designs
Rahul Nanda
Himanshu Nanda
HR Enterprises

Story / Writer
Uttam Gada

Line Producer
Prashant Shah

Corporate

Madhur now peeps into the glitzy world of corporate identities in his new outing CORPORATE. Like CHANDNI BAR and PAGE 3, CORPORATE works for one solid reason: It brings to light the nitty-gritty of a world that most commoners never knew of. Battles fought in ostentatious and swanky offices aren’t known to the majority and it is this aspect that can be rightly termed as one of the USPs of the enterprise.

But the real strength of the film lies in narrating a dynamic story. The best of ideas evaporate into thin air if entrusted to inept, inexperienced storytellers. Thankfully, Madhur narrates CORPORATE in the most simplistic fashion so that the common man can decipher the games corporate entities play to stay at the top. Besides, CORPORATE is as hard-hitting as CHANDNI BAR or PAGE 3. Beneath a strong storyline is an underlying message that makes you think.

In a nutshell, CORPORATE is an astounding successor to Madhur’s earlier achievements!

Aristotle had once said, ‘The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows.’ A century later, it could be rephrased as, ‘The secret of business is to know what the other person knows, and a little more.’

Welcome to the world of Corporates. A battlefield of power-hungry people. A world filled with deceit and corrupted minds. Where wealth, fame and success are fought over. And rules don’t exist.

CORPORATE tells the story of two leading industrialists in the food sector, led by Vinay Sehgal [Rajat Kapoor], Managing Director of Sehgal Group of Industries and Dharmesh Marwah [Raj Babbar], Managing Director of Marwah International P. Ltd. Powerful, ambitious and relentless.

While there are many diligent people working for these companies, there is also Nishigandha [Bipasha Basu], a businesswoman with high aspirations and hunger to move to the top. She is at the centre of all the action.

When the market opens up to international players, competition gets fierce. And the battle for supremacy begins. Moral codes are abandoned and ethics are forgotten as these two bitter rivals embark upon a deadly game of monopoly.

Success and prestige take precedence over everything else. Good is no longer good enough. And people are driven to the brink of insanity. All in the name of business. If the war was just between two companies then their battles should’ve remained behind the scenes. Unfortunately, its implications have an impact on the common man.

This film peeps into the mindset of the powerful people and attempts to find out what makes them tick. It explores the nexus between the corporate world and the political and follows the trail of sex and corruption that hides behind a glittering and glassy exterior.

The initial portions of CORPORATE and also the power games that the high and mighty indulge in may seem like Greek and Latin for the Hindustani junta. Madhur tries to be as real as possible while laying the cards on the table. Yet, there are several characters in the narrative that you identify with instantly. Like the scheming politician or the lecherous CEO of a company, who has sex on his mind all the time.

If you don’t gather a powerful impression of the first half, it doesn’t really come as a surprise, but Madhur reserves the best for the post-interval portions. It is in the second hour that CORPORATE does a somersault and turns into a story that the commoners can identify with. The twist in the tale -- when Bipasha is used as a pawn in the game -- sends a shiver down your spine. The razor-sharp developments thereafter, right till the climax, come as a shocker and open your eyes to a world that’s a complete sham.

Directorially, Madhur Bhandarkar enters an alien territory yet again. Besides exposing the glitzy world of corporates, the film works primarily because the emotional twists and turns in the plot involve the common man. It’s in the post-interval portions that Madhur shows his competence, as a writer [screenplay: Madhur, Manoj Tyagi] first and as a storyteller subsequently. The impact the film makes from the pre-climax onwards proves that Madhur has only bettered the art of narrating a good story.

There’s not much scope for music [Shamir Tandon] in a subject like this, but the three tracks are quite tuneful. 'O Sikandar' and 'Lamha Lamha Zindagi Hai' are appropriate and only take the story forward. Cinematography [Mahesh Limaye] is of standard. The background score [Raju Singh] is in sync with the theme. Dialogues [Aje Monga, Manoj Tyagi] are sharp.

The film has a plethora of characters, but the one who breathes life into her role and emerges trumps is Bipasha. She is competent in the first hour, but watch her take rapid strides as an actor in the second half, more so towards the finale. After Tabu [CHANDNI BAR], Raveena [SATTA] and Konkona [PAGE 3], Madhur taps the hitherto untapped potential of Bipasha this time around, making you realize that there’s more to Bipasha than just being a glam-doll.

Kay Kay too comes into form in the second hour, especially during the twist in the tale. The supremely talented actor exhibits his vast range yet again. Rajat Kapoor is excellent as the shrewd industrialist. Raj Babbar underplays his part beautifully. Harsh Chhaya is first-rate. Sandeep Mehta [as the lusty CEO] is an actor to watch. Vinay Apte is superb as the corrupt minister. Achint Kaur is dependable. Bharat Dabholkar does a fine job. Lillete Dubey deserved a better role.

Minissha doesn’t get any scope. Sameer Dattani barely gets one scene, but is a silent spectator in the remaining three scenes. In fact, both Minisha and Sameer look completely forced in the screenplay. Payal Rohatgi is alright.

On the whole, CORPORATE works for its gripping drama towards the second half. At the box-office, the film is targeted at the metros and the multiplex audience in particular and has all it takes to keep its target audience completely satisfied. For the producers, the moderately-budgeted film has already proved a profitable proposition and for its distributors, the merits coupled with the open week will see the film growing from strength to strength thanks to a strong word of mouth.

Director
Madhur Bhandarkar

Star Cast
Bipasha Basu...... Nishigandha Dasgupta
Minissha Lamba...... Megha Apte
Sameer Dattani...... Anmol Rawat
Kay Kay Menon...... Ritesh Sahani
Payal Rohatgi...... Payal Rohatgi (actress)
Raj Babbar...... Dharmesh Marwah
Harsh Chhaya...... Naveen Shroff
Rajat Kapoor...... Vinay Sehgal
Javed Akhtar...... himself
Deepshikha
Bharat Dabholkar...... Joe Rajan
Sandeep Mehta...... Parvez Merchant
Achint Kaur...... Vinay Sehgal's wife
Lilette Dubey...... Devyani bakshi
Ashok Pandit...... journalist Ashok Pandit
Kailash Kher...... special appearance in O Sikander song
Manoj Joshi...... movie director Monty
Shweta Menon...... Archana
Anil Nagrath...... Ballu
Manohar Kanungo...... special appearance
Amar Talwar
Vinay Apte...... Gulabrao
Mukesh Tyagi
Viju Khote...... Megha's father
Navni Parihar...... Dharmesh's wife
Dolly Thakore
Suhas Avchat
Brinda Parekh
Poonam Bartake
Sunayana Fauzdar
Bikramjeet Kanwarpal
Pralhad Kakkar...... as himself

Cassettes and CD's on
Universal

Singers
Asha Bhosle
Kailash Kher
Sapna Mukherjee
Alisha Chinoy
Gary Lawyer
Vasundhara Das
Sangeet Haldipur
Sonu Kakkar

Lyricist
Sandeep Nath

Music Director
Shamir Tandon

Background Music
Raju Singh

Cinematography
Mahesh Limaye

Choreography
Longines Fernandes

Action
Harish Shetty

Art
Omang Kumar

Editor
Deven Murdeshwar

Screenplay
Madhur Bhandarkar
Manoj Tyagi

Dialogue
Manoj Tyagi
Ajay Monga

PRO
Parag Desai

Publicity Designs
P9 Integrated Pvt Ltd

Publicity Stills
Avinash Gowariker

Story / Writer
Madhur Bhandarkar
Manoj Tyagi

ANTHONY KAUN HAI?

But let's clear a few myths pertaining to ANTHONY KAUN HAI?...
Myth 1: If you expect to watch Munna and Circuit or an extension of those roles in ANTHONY KAUN HAI?, you're in for disillusionment. In this film, the two actors are on the opposite sides of the fulcrum. They are not buddies, they aren't working together either.

Myth 2: Expecting ANTHONY KAUN HAI? to be a hilarious entertainer, like some of the recent comic capers, would also be wrong. This is no laughathon. It's a thriller laced with a love story and light moments in minimal doses. In fact, the film is modeled on the lines of the Dev Anand-Ashok Kumar hit JEWEL THIEF, directed by Vijay Anand.

Now let's get to the realities…
On the plus side, ANTHONY KAUN HAI? is a stylishly shot film with several interesting twists and turns. In fact, the film is a complete departure from what director Raj Kaushal has attempted in the past [PYAAR MEIN KABHI KABHI, SHAADI KA LADDOO]. You could say that ANTHONY KAUN HAI? is Raj's finest effort so far, but it's not without its share of deficiencies.

The hiccups come in the form of the script [writer: Soumik Sen]. Inspired by the Hollywood film WHO IS CLETIS TOUT? [2002; Christian Slater, Tim Allen], the film also brings back memories of BLUE STREAK [1999; Martin Lawrence, Luke Wilson]. In fact, if you recall vividly, David Dhawan too had attempted BLUE STREAK in the past, when he made CHOR MACHAAYE SHOR [2002; Bobby, Shilpa, Bipasha].

Soumik's script is absorbing in parts and keeps the viewer on toes, but there's a major flaw. When you have a title like ANTHONY KAUN HAI?, the viewer wants to know ki bhaiya, Anthony aakhir hai kaun? There has to be a face to the character, but no one knows who Anthony is or what he looks like even after the film has ended. Yes, there are some body shots of Anthony Gonsalves [his face is hidden], but there has to be a face to every character -- at least in Hindi movies. From the writing point of view, this a glaring flaw!

Another defect -- and this has nothing to do with the script -- is that you expect Sanjay Dutt in the main lead [going by the promotions], but Sanju's presence is akin to a special appearance. Yes, Sanju's there at the start, in between and also in the end, but it's Arshad's story that he's listening to. Sanju comes in after every 20 minutes and his screen appearance lasts for not more than 3-4 minutes [at times, even less than that!] every time he appears. Obviously, the die-hard Sanju fans are bound to feel disappointed!

In a nutshell, ANTHONY KAUN HAI? is a mixed bag. It works intermittently, not in entirety!

Master Madan [Sanjay Dutt] is a hitman, a complete filmi, a die-hard Bollywood fan. Champ [Arshad Warsi] is an ace conman who's changed his identity more than his outfits. The story revolves around Master Madan, who receives an order to exterminate Champ. But is Champ really the prey or is there something more to it?

As the film opens, Mater Madan sticks a gun in the face of Champ and tells him that if the money is delivered as planned, he will kill him. In the meantime, he loves a good story. And Champ has one to tell him. Their meeting, Champ explains, is based on a misconception. Master Madan thinks Champ is Anthony Gonsalves, a journalist the villain Lucky Sharma [Chetan Hansraj] wants dead. But Champ is in fact Champak, who borrowed Anthony's identity after escaping from prison.

Meanwhile, Jiya [Minissha] is the only link who knows where the diamonds are stashed away. Unfortunately, the location [where the diamonds lie buried] is now a prison. The diamonds were stolen by a magician Raghu [Raghubir Yadav], who has been imprisoned for this act. In fact, Jiya is Raghu's daughter.

Detective Suraj Singh [Gulshan Grover] is entrusted the task of solving the mystery.

ANTHONY KAUN HAI? is not the usual thriller that Bollywood aficionados are used to watching. It's pretty evident at the start of the film itself that director Raj Kaushal and writer Soumik Sen have made a thriller that's targeted at the metros. The look as well as the technique [it's very stylish], besides the storytelling, would appeal to the elite more than the hoi polloi, the masses.

Although the story could've got very confusing and difficult to comprehend, since the film goes into flashbacks time and again, Raj Kaushal and Soumik have ensured that the layers in the story are peeled gradually. A number of sequences are noteworthy, especially the ones between Sanju and Arshad, and that's the mainstay of the enterprise. The climax of the film changes tracks and becomes a love story [Arshad-Minissha] and the sequence at the Bangkok International Airport is simply fantastic.

On the flip side, the storytelling is the type that would alienate the aam junta. Also, as mentioned above, the Sanjay Dutt factor as also the faceless identity of Anthony are major deterrents. Besides, the placement of songs raises eyebrows. Like, for instance, there are two songs that come back-to-back after the film has ended -- the first on Sanju-Arshad ['No Way'] and the second on Himesh Reshammiya ['Jabse Tumko Dekha']. Why?

There's no denying that director Raj Kaushal takes a giant leap with ANTHONY KAUN HAI?, in terms of technique as also storytelling. This is amongst the most stylish films made in the recent times, although Raj can and should also try to think from the Indian masses point of view when he attempts a film next. The content should strike a fine balance between gentry and masses.

Soumik Sen's choice of the story is right, but the screenplay could've been more cohesive. You don't feel completely satiated after you've watched the film. Yet, in all fairness, the writing is a notch above the ordinary. Himesh Reshammiya's music is foot-tapping. The last two tracks specifically hold appeal. Hemant Chaturvedi's cinematography is excellent. The D.O.P. captures Thailand on celluloid like never before. The film bears a glossy look all through and the beautiful locales of Krabi and Bangkok give the film an international look.

With Sanju in the background, the focus is on Arshad Warsi, who does an admirable job from start to end. The best part is that Arshad is always likeable; even if it's an ordinary sequence, the actor uplifts the portion with his amazing talent. Sanju looks dapper and does a decent job.

Minissha is likeable. In fact, the actress is far better in this film than she was in her first two films [YAHAAN, CORPORATE]. Anusha Dandekar has nothing much to do. Raghuveer Yadav is passable. Gulshan Grover is bankable. Ravi Baswani provides comic relief. His get-up is funny as well. Chetan Hansraj is hardly there.

On the whole, ANTHONY KAUN HAI? is a decent fare that would appeal to the elite more than the commoners. At the box-office, the film has the Sanju-Arshad pairing as its biggest strength, but the film lacks a strong screenplay to keep you hooked. The film has good initial-value and coupled with the star power and hype should sail safe for its distributors. But a long run is ruled out due to the mighty opposition next week.

Producer
Nikhil Panchamiya

Director
Raj Kaushal

Star Cast
Sanjay Dutt...... Master Madan
Arshad Warsi...... Champ
Minissha Lamba...... Jiya
Anousha Dandekar...... Rosa
Raghuveer Yadav...... Magician Raghu Sharma
Gulshan Grover...... Detective Suraj Singh
Naina Dhaliwal
Ravi Baswani
Chetan Hansraj

Cassettes and CD's on
T-Series

Singers
Himesh Reshammiya
Sunidhi Chauhan
Sonu Nigam
Jayesh Gandhi
Saru Maini
Gayatri Ganjawala
Kunal Ganjawala
K K
Shreya Ghosal

Lyricist
Sameer

Music Director
Himesh Reshammiya

Cinematography
Hemant Chaturvedi

Choreography
Remo
Pony Verma

Action
Kecha Kammpakdee

Art
Sudhakar Manjrekar

Editor
Sanjib Datta

Sound
Rishi Oberoi

Costume
Pooja Sarin
Theia Bomanbehram
Gabbana Fashions Pvt Ltd

Processing Labs
Adlabs Films Ltd

Visual Effects
Avitel Post Studioz Ltd.

Publicity Designs
Epigram

Publicity Stills
Jitu Savlani

Story / Writer
Soumik Sen

OMKARA

Hollywood has, in the past, attempted cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare's works, including several versions of OTHELLO. Although the original-source is Western, Vishal Bhardwaj and his team of writers have placed the plot in the Indian milieu… in the heartland of India, to be more specific.

Attempting a film like OMKARA requires courage. It dares to swim against the tide. It defies the set rules of commercial cinema. It's not one of those candyfloss films. It's not sunshine cinema either. Nor does it follow trends… OMKARA is a serious film, about real people, about real emotions. You may find it dark at times. Also disturbing. And the generous usage of expletives [MCs, BCs, Cs] and dialogues [sample: Teri aur meri kismet gadhe ke *@!# se likhi gayee hain] could give you a cold sweat.

Clearly, OMKARA is not everybody's cup of tea, not everyone's idea of entertainment…

So, what works and what doesn't?
Vishal Bhardwaj is an accomplished storyteller. On surface, OMKARA is Shakespeare's OTHELLO, but the adaptation is very Indian. Human traits like suspicion and jealousy can be identified the world over and that's what OMKARA highlights all through its 18 reels.

But one of the prime reasons why OMKARA stands out from most Bollywood films is that every performance in the film is worth its weight in gold. And a few sequences are master strokes from writing and execution point of view. The film deserves brownie points for the change of events in its second hour specifically!

But you cannot ignore the deficiencies as well…
The slow pacing, the lingo spoken by the characters and the U.P. setting has its limitations. A film set in Mumbai, with generous doses of Mumbaiya lingo, appeals more in Mumbai/Maharashtra than in Gujarat, Punjab, Bihar or Rajasthan. Similarly, the U.P. dialect, the setting, the ambience, even the expletives would find tremendous identification from U.P. and Bihar, not at other regions.

Also, since the film follows an unconventional route, it tends to get dark and disturbing at times. Agreed, it's the demand of the story, but those who aren't aware of Shakespeare's OTHELLO and the tragic end are bound to feel disturbed by the climax. The bloodshed and violent slant is also not something that would hold universal acceptance.

Omkara or Omi [Ajay Devgan] is a gifted chieftain who heads a gang of outlaws, which include the crafty Langda Tyagi [Saif Ali Khan] and the dynamic Kesu [Vivek Oberoi] amongst his chief cohorts. The story begins when Omi appoints Kesu and not Langda as his chief lieutenant.

Langda's pride is slighted and raging with envy he hatches a plot to falsely implicate Omi's beautiful lover Dolly [Kareena Kapoor] in a love affair with Omi's “favorite lieutenant” Kesu. With the unwitting aid of Indu [Konkana Sen Sharma], Langda's wife, and the willing help of Raju, a fellow grouch, Langda's plan takes shape and results in horrific tragedy.

Using petty insinuations and lies, Langda keeps poisoning Omi's mind till one day it snaps and Omi goes about tearing up his own safe and secure world. By the time he realizes what he has done and the backlash of his actions, it is too late.

Omkara's love for Dolly, Dolly's unquestioning love for Omi, Langda's warped loyalty and jealousy for Omi, Kesu's unswerving devotion to Omi -- all lead up to a dark tragedy where Omi finally realizes what he has done…

From MAKDEE to MAQBOOL to OMKARA, Vishal Bhardwaj's transition has been simply remarkable. OMKARA shows that Vishal is a brilliant storyteller, who has a terrific command over technique too. In fact, it wouldn't be erroneous to state that every sequence in the film bears the stamp of a genius and most importantly, someone who knows how to adapt an English play into a 2-hour Hindi film.

Vishal's storytelling is equally noteworthy. The transition from a simple story to a complex tale and from a plain love story to a shocking, tragic culmination is what generates a terrific impression of the film. The narrative is absorbing in parts in the first half [it takes time to get used to the lingo], but the drama and the tense moments in the second hour is what really matters.

A few sequences leave an indelible impression…

    * The dialogue between Kareena's father and Ajay at the start: 'If a daughter is not loyal to her father, can she ever be loyal to her lover?';

    * Ajay choosing Vivek over Saif as the chief lieutenant and the varied expressions on Saif's face;

    * The conversation between Saif and Raju, who is in love with Kareena, at the banks of the river. Again, note Saif's expressions when Raju mocks at him: 'What could you do when Omkara made Kesu the lieutenant?';

    * The 'kamar-bandh' sequence in the second hour, when Ajay tells Kareena to search for it;

    * All sequences between Saif and Ajay, when Saif tries to poison Ajay's mind against Kareena and Vivek;

    * The climax - the 'suhaag raat' sequence - and the dastardly act that follows. It would be wrong to reveal the end, but the conclusion to Kareena's character is sure hair-raising.


But, on the other hand, OMKARA tends to get too realistic at times. The director and his team of writers [Vishal Bhardwal, Robin Bhatt, Abhishek Chaubey] could've toned down the expletives in the film. Also, the tense-filled moments get too heavy after a point and would work only for those who appreciate realistic cinema. Vishal's music is in sync with the mood of the film and might appeal to connoisseurs of traditional music, but not to a wide audience. The 'Beedi' track holds mass appeal, while 'Naina Thag Lenge' is rich in lyrical value and has a haunting feel. Cinematography [Tassaduq Hussain] is excellent at most times, but certain dark scenes could've been better lit. Dialogues are natural to the core, but, again, the expletives in the dialogues make you uncomfortable at times.

OMKARA is embellished with great performances, but the one who steals the show is, without a shred of doubt, Saif Ali Khan, who plays the evil Langda Tyagi brilliantly. His looks, his mannerisms, his body language, his overall behavioral pattern takes you by complete surprise. The actor deserves distinction marks for portraying the role with such realism that you start hating him after a point. Sure, the actor deserves the highest award for this role!

Ajay makes a stirring and powerful interpretation of a man haunted by uncertainty about his lover's faithfulness. The serious look that Ajay carries suits him to the T. Of course, Ajay is exceptional in the film and looks every inch the character he portrays.

Kareena delivers an award-worthy performance. She looks gorgeous even without makeup. Vivek Oberoi is alright; he doesn't really get much scope. Konkona Sen Sharma is outstanding. She makes a towering impact every time she appears on screen. Bipasha [sp. app.] is highly effective. Naseeruddin Shah is adequate. Deepak Dobriyal [Raju] is a supremely talented actor.

On the whole, OMKARA is a brilliant film from the making point of view and is also embellished with topnotch performances. But the box-office will be a different story altogether. Thanks to the U.P. dialect, the film will appeal more in the U.P./Bihar belt mainly. In several circuits, the dialect, the dark and disturbing theme and also the expletives will curtail its prospects to an extent. The high pricing will also go against it in some circuits.


Producer
Kumar Mangat

Director
Vishal Bharadwaj

Star Cast
Ajay Devgan...... Omkara (Othello)
Vivek Oberoi...... Kesu (Cassio)
Saif Ali Khan...... Langda Tyagi (Iago)
Kareena Kapoor...... Dolly (Desdemona)
Konkona Sen Sharma...... Indu (Emilia)
Bipasha Basu...... Billo Chaman Bahar (special appearance)
Naseruddin Shah...... Bhaisaab
Deepak Dobriyal...... Raju

Cassettes and CD's on
Eros Music

Singers
Sukhwinder Singh
Shreya Ghosal
Vishal Bharadwaj
Sunidhi Chauhan
Nachiketa Chakraborty
Clinton Cerejo
Suresh Wadkar
Rekha Vishal
Rakesh Pandit
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Lyricist
Gulzar

Music Director
Vishal Bharadwaj

Background Music
Vishal Bharadwaj

Executive / Associate / Co-Producer
Neelam Pathak
Ketan Maroo

Cinematography
Tassaduq Hussain

Choreography
Bhushan Lakhandri
Ganesh Acharya

Action
Jai Singh

Editor
Meghna Manchanda

Screenplay
Vishal Bharadwaj
Robin Bhatt
Abhishek Chaubhey

Sound
Subhash Sahu
K J Singh

Dialogue
Vishal Bharadwaj

Costume
Dolly Ahluwalia

PRO
Parull Gossain

Publicity Designs
Himanshu Nanda
Rahul Nanda
HR Enterprises

KRRISH

Since the inception of the character during the 1930s, Superman has been fodder for a variety of movies and television series, both live and animated. Though Hindi film heroes have had the qualities of Superman, it’s for the first time that a lead man with a mask and robe is about to invade the Hindi screen.

KRRISH is a crucial release for yet another reason. The Rakesh Roshan-Hrithik Roshan combo has given us back-to-back successes: KAHO NAA… PYAAR HAI and KOI… MIL GAYA. Quite naturally then, the expectations from KRRISH are humungous.

The great news is that KRRISH more than meets the expectations. The film works, and works big time, due to several reasons. Besides a novel premise for Indian moviegoers, it has Hrithik Roshan enacting a role that fits him like a glove. Mind you, the role of a man with superpowers and a robust personality to match would’ve fallen flat in inept hands and the best of techno-wizardry would’ve, hence, been ignored, unobserved and unnoticed.

But one of the major highpoints of KRRISH is its penultimate 40 minutes. The fight between good and bad, noble versus immoral, virtuous versus corrupt has been depicted in film after film. And if the fight between the two extremes is portrayed in the most convincing fashion, the viewer is bound to carry the film home and most importantly, return to the movieplex to watch the on-screen clash once again.

The collision of righteous [Hrithik] and wicked [Naseer] in KRRISH and the usage of special effects and thrills takes the film to an altogether different level. It wouldn’t be wrong to state that Hindi moviegoers haven’t witnessed something like this ever. Also, the re-emergence of Rohit [the lead character of KOI… MIL GAYA] in the story is a master stroke from the writing and execution point of view. It only strengthens the climax and makes the fight utmost convincing.

KRRISH also reaffirms the fact that Rakesh Roshan has adapted to the changing times well. While most of his contemporaries have slipped into oblivion, Roshan Sr. has moved with the fast-changing times and gathered courage to narrate a tale that’s present-day and at the same time, inventive. At the same time, KRRISH is soaked in Indian emotions [the relationship Hrithik shares with his grandmom Rekha], talks of astrology using computer as a tool and shows the protagonist with superpowers -- a story Indians can absorb very easily. Concurrently, Roshan Sr. relies on dexterously executed special effects to narrate the tale. And the pulsating stunts and thrills only act as sone pe suhaaga.

In a nutshell, KRRISH is a terrifically exciting and compelling experience. Move over SUPERMAN, BATMAN and SPIDERMAN. KRRISH, the Indian superhero, has arrived!

Krishna [Hrithik Roshan] is born with magical powers -- a legacy from his father, Rohit Mehra.

Free as a bird, he runs like the wind…
Like an eagle, he soars across rivers and mountain tops…
As a lion, he conquers rugged rocks without fear…

Priya [Priyanka Chopra] comes into his life and becomes his world. When she beckons him to Singapore, he follows her there. Little realizing it is destiny that has summoned him. Having sheltered him from the world, his grandmother Sonia [Rekha] reluctantly gives in to him and lets him follow his heart.

In Singapore, Dr. Siddhant Arya [Naseeruddin Shah], the megalomaniac scientist, is on the verge of changing the future forever. Only one man stands between Dr. Siddharth and his destructive dreams. Only one man has the power to block his ruthless ambitions. Krrish.

KRRISH is essentially three movies rolled into one: It starts off as a love story, changes gears and becomes a traditional superhero story and in the pre-climax, it’s the clash between good versus evil. While the first part seems like any other love story, it has its moments. Note Hrithik’s introduction and also, Hrithik saving Priyanka from an accident [their first meeting] and you know that there’s more to the film than a saccharine-sweet love story.

The first hour, in fact, may give an impression that it’s a routine fare, but knowing Roshan Sr.’s style of showing his cards in the second hour, you await the post-interval portions with bated breath. And lo! KRRISH takes giant strides in this hour. The story actually gathers momentum when Sharat Saxena spills the beans and the film goes into a flashback. From thereon, right till the end titles, it’ a different film altogether. And that’s its biggest achievement. The team of writers [Sachin Bhowmick, Honey Irani, Robin Bhatt, Akash Khurana and Rakesh Roshan] deserve brownie points for padding the film with pulse-pounding moments.

The film has its share of blemishes too. The pace slackens intermittently in the first hour, primarily because the story doesn’t move beyond the romantic scenes. Also, the music [Rajesh Roshan] isn’t as mesmerizing as the Roshan brothers’ previous works. The songs of KRRISH are functional, barring the ‘Dil Na Diya’ track, which is complimented by an energetic picturization.

The action scenes [Tony Ching Siu Tung from Hong Kong and Sham Kaushal] are superb and will be greeted by claps and cheers. Hrithik’s stunts in Naseer’s den are simply awe-inspiring. Prior to that, the chase portions -- Hrithik chasing Naseer on land, water and air -- is astounding. The special effects [Marc Kolbe and Craig Mumma, both from U.S.A.] are incredible. In fact, the special effects are a pillar of the enterprise. Santosh Thundiyil’s cinematography is exceptional. The film bears a stunning look all through. Salim-Sulaiman’s background score is of international quality. It only heightens the impact further.

To state that Hrithik is the soul of KRRISH would be an understatement. If the actor walked away with all noteworthy awards in KOI… MIL GAYA, it’s going to be an encore with KRRISH. You cannot imagine any other actor enacting the role of a gifted child with aplomb. If his mask and robe look is splendid, watch his make up, gait and mannerisms as the aged father and you’d agree, he’s one of the finest talents on the Indian screen today. KRRISH is yet another ground-breaking film in his dazzling repertoire!

Priyanka is the archetypal Hindi film heroine. Not surprising, since everyone in Hrithik’s radius is bound to get eclipsed. Rekha is highly effective, especially in the scene after the confrontation, when she narrates the true story to Hrithik. Naseeruddin Shah excels yet again. He plays the cool, calculating and conniving villain to perfection.

The remaining actors -- Sharat Saxena, Puneet Issar, Akash Khurana, Hemant Pandey, Manini Mishra, Kiran Juneja Sippy and Archana Puransingh -- are satisfactory. Preity Zinta is there for one scene.

On the whole, KRRISH is a winner all the way. At the box-office, the film will rewrite box-office history and emerge one of the biggest hits ever. The film will establish records from Day 1 itself, while the first weekend business will be brilliant and the first week billing should shatter all previous records. A money spinner, KRRISH is a definite blockbuster!


Shooting Locations (City & Country)
Singapore

Shooting Studios
Filmcity

Producer
Rakesh Roshan

Director
Rakesh Roshan

Star Cast
Hrithik Roshan...... Rohit Mehra Jr./Krishna/Krrish
Priyanka Chopra...... Priya
Naseruddin Shah...... Dr. Siddhant Arya
Rekha...... Sonia Mehra
Sharat Saxena...... Vikram Sinha
Puneet Issar...... Komal Singh
Preity Zinta...... Nisha (special appearance)
Hemant Pandey...... Bahadur
Kiran Juneja...... Priya's mother
Archana Puran Singh...... Boss of TV Channel
Maaninee Misshra...... Honey
Bin Xia...... Kristian
Akash Khurana...... father
Mithilesh Chaturvedi
Edgar Noordanus
Fardeen Hussaini (child artist)
Mickey Dhamijani (child artist)
Yu Xuan (child artist)
Zain Khan (child artist)
Maninni De
Purva Naresh

Cassettes and CD's on
T-Series

Singers
Sonu Nigam
Shreya Ghosal
Udit Narayan
Kunal Ganjawala
Ustad Rafaqat Ali Khan
Alka Yagnik

Lyricist
Ibrahim Ashq
Nasir Faraaz
Vijay Akela

Music Director
Rajesh Roshan

Background Music
Salim Merchant
Sulaiman Merchant

Cinematography
Santosh Thundiyil
Piyush Shah

Choreography
Farah Khan
Raju Khan
Vaibhavi Merchant

Action
Shyam Kaushal
Tony Ching Siu Tung

Art
Samir Chanda

Editor
Amitabh Shukla

Screenplay
Sachin Bhowmik
Rakesh Roshan
Akash Khurana
Honey Irani
Robin Bhatt
Sanjay Masoom

Sound
Jitendra Chaudhary
Nakul Kamte

Dialogue
Sanjay Masoom

Costume
Bipin Tanna
Manish Malhotra
Rocky S
Vikram Phadnis
Jaswinder Gardner

Hairstylist
Ritesh Chudasma
Minal Khan
Sharma Rabbani

Official Website Designer
HR Enterprises

Processing Labs
Prasad Film Laboratories

Promos
Binni Padda
Ravi Padda

Visual Effects
EFX

Publicity Designs
Himanshu Nanda
Rahul Nanda
HR Enterprises

Publicity Stills
Rakesh Shreshta
Dilip Bhatia

Story / Writer
Rakesh Roshan

ANKAHEE

ANKAHEE takes a look at relationships. The premise -- a married man torn between two women -- has been done to death in Bollywood. But it’s the treatment that makes or mars a concept. Thankfully, ANKAHEE works because Vikram narrates his story in the most convincing fashion.

For any emotional story to strike a chord, it ought to be embellished with [i] Emotional moments that touch the core of your heart and [ii] Dexterous performances by the principal star cast. And in both these departments, ANKAHEE works in a big way.

Shekhar [Aftab Shivdasani] is married to Nandita [Amisha Patel]. The relationship only gets better with the birth of a girl, Sheena. Everything seems perfect. Till Miss World and Bollywood star Kavya Krishna [Esha Deol] walks into his hospital with a slit wrist.

Kavya is beautiful. Like the rest of the world, Shekhar falls in love with her. For Kavya, Shekhar is the lifeline. Her anchor. The only person in the world who can make her happy. And Kavya wants, needs, struggles to be happy.

Nandita, of course, is stuck in the middle. Shekhar is her husband. The only man she has ever loved. And yet, he finds it only too easy to walk away. From her. From their home. From Sheena.

ANKAHEE is about the truth that was left unspoken between a man, his wife and their daughter. And the lies that need to be uncovered.

In many ways, ANKAHEE bears a striking similarity to Mahesh Bhatt’s ARTH. The other woman [also from the glamour industry here] is also a maniac, suffering from acute depression. Then, when the wife gets to know of her husband’s affair with a beauty queen/actress, she pleads her case to the other woman in a manner similar to Shabana Azmi’s telephonic conversation with the silent Smita Patil. Much later, the wife decides to start life afresh and when the husband does return to her, she slams the door on him.

The difference between ARTH and ANKAHEE is that there’s a child involved when the break-up occurs and how it affects not just the couple, but also the kid.

If ANKAHEE is autobiographical by nature, purportedly based on Vikram Bhatt’s life, then you’ve got to give it to the director for accepting the blame for the failed relationship. In fact, Aftab actually emerges as the culprit for the failed marriage, walking out on his wife and kid, smitten by a beauty queen who seems overtly possessive of him.

In terms of execution, ANKAHEE is embellished with a number of brilliant sequences. Sample these:

    * Esha’s introduction in the initial reels sets the mood.
    * Amisha confronting Aftab after the affair is out in the open, courtesy Midday, has been handled with élan.
    * Amisha visiting Aftab in his clinic, requesting him to work on the marriage, is straight out of life.
    * The estranged parents visiting the school principal and the child asking her father if it’s true he’s having an affair with Kavya, would melt even the stone-hearted.
    * Amisha going to Esha’s house and pleading her case is handled with utmost sensitivity.



On the flip side, the subject caters to a particular section of moviegoers mainly. It’s more for the mature viewers, the elite, the ladies in particular. For all those who have an appetite for refined, true to life cinema. But definitely not for the aam junta that looks for time pass or meaningless entertainers.

Also, the slow narrative throws a spanner. The sequence of events unfolds at a lethargic pace, more so in the first hour. Besides, there’s not much movement in the story in the first half, once the characters are established.

Screenplay writers Yash-Vinay and Vikram Bhatt have penned a script that gallops straight into your heart. It wouldn’t be wrong to state that the director gets a major boost only because the writing is cohesive and consistent. Not once does the story deviate towards unwanted tracks. Even the dialogues [Girish Dhamija] compliment the emotional graph of the story.

There’s no denying that ANKAHEE is Vikram Bhatt’s most accomplished work to date. Not only is the film rich in emotions, so vital for a film that tackles relationships, even the performances that Vikram has extracted from his actors is commendable. The subject material would’ve fallen flat in inept hands, no two opinions on that. Pritam’s music is in sync with the mood of the film. ‘Tumse Yun Milenge’ is the pick of the lot. Cinematography [Praveen Bhatt] is up to the mark.

It would be unfair to single out any one performance. But, of course, Esha’s character stands out due to the grey shades. Esha makes you sit up with a power-packed performance this time. She never got an opportunity to prove herself earlier and now that she does get one in ANKAHEE, she comes up with an award-worthy performance this time around.

Aftab excels in a role that would’ve been difficult to portray by an average actor. He enacts the role of a weak man with complete understanding, not looking out of place even once. ANKAHEE easily ranks as his finest performance so far. A performance that’s bound to be noticed and talked about.

Amisha is in form after a long, long time -- after GADAR to be precise. She is controlled, expressive and portrays her part with gusto. Hrishita Bhatt and the child artist are both expressive. Amin Hajee and Ashwini lend admirable support.

On the whole, ANKAHEE is a sensitive tale that has been executed and performed with flourish. At the box-office, it caters to the elite crowd and ladies mainly -- those who have an appetite for true to life, mature and meaningful cinema. The film has the merits to grow with a strong word of mouth in days to come. Its business at multiplexes of metros should be the best. Recommended!


Producer
Pritish Nandy
Rangita Pritish Nandy

Director
Vikram Bhatt

Star Cast
Esha Deol...... Kavya Krishna
Aftab Shivdasani...... Shekhar
Amisha Patel...... Nandita
Hrishita Bhatt
Amin Hajee...... Kunal
Vikas Bhalla
Ashwini Kalsekar
Deepak Qazir
Vikram Bhatt

Cassettes and CD's on
T-Series

Singers
K K
Shreya Ghosal
Kunal Ganjawala
Babul Supriyo
Sonu Nigam
Shaan

Lyricist
Amitabh Varma
Sameer
Subrat Sinha

Music Director
Pritam Chakraborty

Cinematography
Praveen Bhatt

Choreography
Remo

Editor
Virendra Gharse
Diwakar P Bhonsle

Screenplay
Vikram Bhatt
Yash
Vinay

Dialogue
Girish Dhamija

Costume
Neeta Lulla
Theia Bomanbehram
Falguni Thakore
Pooja Sarin

PRO
Spice

Promos
Binni Padda
Ravi Padda

Publicity Stills
Subi Samuel

Story / Writer
Vikram Bhatt

Alag

Director Ashu Trikha's third outing ALAG also defies the stereotype. Yes, the male protagonist in ALAG is blessed with powers, but the film is not about Superman, Spiderman or Batman.

ALAG, the desi version of the Hollywood film POWDER [1995; Sean Patrick Flanery], tells the story of an unusual youth. He is bald, has no eyebrows, his body has no hair and he possesses the most advanced intellect. He also has a strange affinity for electricity. Radios and televisions don't work around him and, during thunderstorms, he acts like a lightning rod. Indeed, an alag concept for Indian moviegoers!

If the premise of ALAG is its USP, it has a flip side too. In India, the image of a superhero is that of a dashing man wearing a mask, out to save mankind from unscrupulous elements. In ALAG, the protagonist doesn't possess any of the powers that Indian mythology or any comic book superhero boasts of. It's more of scientific mumbo jumbo here. And it's for this reason that ALAG limits itself to a tiny section of movie-going audience.

Yet, all said and done, ALAG is watchable for two reasons. It's a well-told story with a motivating performance by its lead actor, Akshay Kapoor. And if you have an appetite for alag, hatke cinema, ALAG suits the purpose.

ALAG begins with the death of Rastogi [Yateen Karyekar], who has had a cardiac arrest on a rainy night. When the police begin their investigations and take over Rastogi's mansion, they find the entire setting eerie and mysterious. The mystery deepens when neighbors claim that there was someone else also living with Rastogi.

On further investigations, the police realize that Rastogi's son Tejas [Akshay Kapoor] has been hidden in the basement of the mansion. The boy has never stepped out of the house since childhood and has lived in darkness all his life. Nobody can fathom why he was confined to the underground room. Nobody knows why Rastogi hid his own son from the world.

The police decide to place Tejas in Purva's [Dia Mirza] care. Along with her father [Jayant Kripalani], Purva runs an institute for orphans who had stepped into a life of crime, but desire to change in life. Purva voluntarily agrees to help Tejas start his new life. But one look at him and she knows that she has not seen anyone like him before. He looks alag, behaves alag, is alag.

Meanwhile, Tejas is exploring the various facets of his newfound world…

To give the credit where it's due, the plot of ALAG sounds plausible. It is effective at getting the audience to care about the principal personality. Anyone who has ever felt like an outsider will see an element of himself/herself in the title character. It's easy to sympathize and identify with the loner.

However, while doing all that competently, ALAG consistently avoids taking chances. The protagonist always does the right thing. No matter how unjustly he's treated, he never lashes out. It's only towards the end that he uses his superpowers, while fighting the deceitful scientist [Tom Alter]. Even the romance between Akshay and Dia is half baked. A few more delicate moments would've only helped in making the emotional climax even more compelling.

Director Ashu Trikha laces the film with several noteworthy moments. The sequence in the dining hall [the lead man's first interaction with the bully and his cronies] is one such high point. His reaction to the shooting of a pigeon is another. Even the climax comes across as a novel experience. More than anything else, Ashu shows the courage to swim against the tide. But he should've gone all out as far as the writing is concerned. If you've the guts to opt for an offbeat theme, why opt for unwanted songs and an unwanted romantic track out of the blue? Why bow down to formulae suddenly? You cannot sail in two boats simultaneously, Mr. Director.

Aadesh Shrivastava's music is a mixed bag. 'Saanjh Ki Pighalti', the romantic track between Akshay and Dia, is soothing, while 'Sabse Alag' [filmed on a host of topnotch actors during the end credits], is another striking composition. But the tapori song ['Apun Ki Toli'] as also the hip-hop track ['Hai Junoon'] was just not required. It's completely uncharacteristic for the recluse hero to suddenly break into songs and dances, frankly. Cinematography [Fuwad Khan] is up to the mark. The visual effects are first-rate.

ALAG rests on Akshay Kapoor's firm shoulders and the actor handles the complex role with confidence. He succeeds in making you feel for the character and that's one big achievement. Besides, he imparts that certain freshness to the role since he comes in without the baggage of an image. Overall, a commendable job!

Dia Mirza is highly effective. Although the story revolves around Akshay, Dia manages to make her presence felt nonetheless. Yateen Karyekar is alright. Mukesh Rishi has a miniscule role. Jayant Kripalani, as Dia's father, is up to the mark. Tom Alter is stereotypical. Beena is fair.

On the whole, ALAG is indeed an alag experience, but more of an experiment that caters to a tiny section of moviegoers. At the box-office, its appeal would be restricted to some select multiplexes of Mumbai and Delhi only [that too during the evening shows], while the business at the traditional Indian markets will be poor.


Producer
Subi Samuel

Director
Ashu Trikha

Star Cast
Vinod Khanna
Dia Mirza...... Purva Rana
Akshay Kapoor...... Tejas Rastogi
Jayant Kriplani...... Purva's father
Mukesh Tiwari
Sharat Saxena
Yatin Karyekar...... Rastogi
Beena
Tom Alter
Rana Jung Bahadur

Cassettes and CD's on
Times Music

Singers
Kunal Ganjawala
Shaan
Hemachandra
Nihira Joshi
Gayatri Ganjawala
Vasundhara Das
Kailash Kher
Aadesh Shrivastav
Ujjaini
Anand Sharma
Krishna

Lyricist
Rahul Seth
Nusrat Badr

Music Director
Aadesh Shrivastav

Cinematography
Fuwad Khan

Choreography
Remo

Action
Abbas Ali Moghul

Art
Sunil Nigvekar

Editor
Steven Bernard

Screenplay
Ashu Trikha
Sanjay Masoom
Tagore Almeda

Sound
Anoop Mishra

Dialogue
Sanjay Masoom

PRO
Parull Gossain

Publicity Designs
Studio Link

Publicity Stills
Subi Samuel

Story / Writer
Tagore Almeda

TATHASTU

But the problem with TATHASTU is that it comes too late in the day. Meaning, as viewers, we've already witnessed innumerable movies on roughly the same subject, of a man's lone fight against the system. Only the issue keeps changing in film after film.

Nothing wrong if a concept is repeated by a storyteller. After all, every craftsman has his way of interpreting a story. But TATHASTU is a sound idea with noble intentions that goes awry because of a poorly crafted screenplay [writers: Yash-Vinay] and mediocre direction.

The only redeeming feature in the entire enterprise is Sanjay Dutt, who enacts the role of a desperate father who has run out of legal options and can think of no other alternative but to point a gun. But the best of performances [and all commercial trappings] can never really substitute for a refreshing story.

In a nutshell, TATHASTU is like a good opportunity wasted!

Ravi [Sanjay Dutt] works in an automobile company. His wife Sarita [Amisha Patel] and 8-year-old kid Gaurav [Yash Pathak] are his world. The story takes a turn when his son collapses while playing cricket. He is diagnosed with a hole in his heart and needs heart transplant operation. Ravi is asked to raise Rs. 15 lacs to save his son's life by the surgeon [Darshan Jariwala]. But can Ravi afford such a big sum at such a short notice?

Ravi tries to get it the right way. Asking for help from his office, the insurance company, the loan sharks… But no one responds to his pleas, while his son does not respond to medication. With time and options running out, a desperate gamble becomes Ravi's only hope: He takes the emergency room hostage.

Ravi barricades himself inside the hospital along with his unwitting group of emergency room hostages, many of them in need of medical care themselves. The police try their best to talk him out of it. His wife, a doctor [Jaya Pradha], a cop [Anoop Soni] and millions of ordinary people join his battle. Can a helpless father beat the system?

TATHASTU's underlying concept has a great deal of relevance in today's world. With a number of medical institutions beyond a common man's financial reach, the message this film intends conveying is pretty evident at the start itself.

But writers Yash-Vinay's screenplay is divorced from reality and that's why the film cannot be taken seriously. From the moment Sanju storms into the hospital and takes over, believability goes out of the window. There is no way that a lone man, untrained in fighting and with only a small gun, could take over the wing of a hospital, hold off the entire police force and turn into an instant hero while threatening to kill innocent people.

Even the political angle that's juxtaposed in the narrative -- a top politician wanting the heart transplant, failing which the government would fall like a pack of cards -- is another spoke in the wheel. Showing politicians as slimy and spineless may've suited the writers, but it just doesn't suit the mood of the film. In fact, the entire political drama, including the finale when Lalit Tiwari, the conniving politician, suddenly appears on the scene, looks like a screenplay of convenience and a complete compromise from the writing point of view.

Even the hostages are a grossly caricatured bunch. The portions depicting the battered housewife, a prostitute and even an aged stock market broker could've been juxtaposed in the narrative far more interestingly. Even the caustic remarks by the ward boy [Manoj Pahwa] are more like a sermon.

Director Anubhav Sinha is letdown by a script that is actually real, but has been presented in the most unreal manner. Also, the proceedings tend to get too grim after a point. And when hope surfaces in the end, you don't want to jump with joy either. Cinematography [Ravi Walia] is okay. Given the premise of the film, there's no scope for music [Vishal-Shekhar] and the lone qawwali that has been injected is strictly okay.

There are times when you forget the deficiencies in the script thanks to a sincere and skilled performance by Sanjay Dutt. In fact, one is seeing a new Sanju of late. First ZINDA and now TATHASTU, 2006 is a turning point in this talented actor's career.

Amisha Patel fails to deliver. The actor ought to know that her role is that of a helpless, lower middle class housewife, but look at her styling: Highlighted hair and nail polish intact. Even after investing years in the industry, some people don't take the craft seriously.

Jaya Pradha is wasted. Gulshan grover is his usual self. Darshan Jariwala is competent. Manoj Pahwa and Lalit Tiwari are alright. Ravi Jhankal makes an impression. Anoop Soni is passable.

On the whole, TATHASTU is a real story which tends to get unreal as it progresses. At the box-office, the lack of hype coupled with dull merits will make it go unnoticed.


Producer
Nitin Manmohan

Director
Anubhav Sinha

Star Cast
Sanjay Dutt...... Ravi Rajput
Amisha Patel...... Sarita
Jaya Prada
Manoj Pahwa
Gulshan Grover
Master Yash Pathak...... Gaurav
Asrani
Darshan Jariwala...... surgeon
Anoop Soni...... cop
Lalit Tiwari
Ravi Jhankal
Mukesh Rawal
Mrinal Deshraj

Cassettes and CD's on
T-Series

Singers
Humsar Hayat

Lyricist
Panchhi Jalonvi

Music Director
Vishal Dadlani
Shekhar Ravjiani

Background Music
Ranjit Barot

Cinematography
Ravi Walia

Choreography
Baba Yadav

Action
Allan Amin

Art
Acropolis

Editor
Sanjib Datta

Screenplay
Vinay
Yash

Sound
Jagmohan Anand

Dialogue
Kamal Pandey

Publicity Designs
HR Enterprises

Story / Writer
Vinay
Yash
f t g m