Movie Review : ‘Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola’ (**Two Star)

Matru-Ki-Bijlee-Ka-Mandola-Poster-1(By Akshat Sharma)Vishal Bhardwaj’s stature as a competent director in Bollywood is well too known. He gave us movies like ‘Maqbool’, ‘Makdee’, ‘Kaminey’ and ‘Omkara’ but these movies had some storyline and a matching screenplay to keep pace with it. Watching a Vishal Bhardwaj film could be an experience in itself if he gets his story and screenplay in place. If these two vital ingredients are missing in his film then you get confused a film like ‘7 Khoon Maaf’ or a ‘Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola’.

‘Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola’ is not a cinematic disaster but the message it wants to communicate is so hazy and ambiguous that even after the movie ends you don’t know what exactly has happened in those two hours. The confusion begins with the title itself because the title doesn’t make any sense. Why the movie is called ‘Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola’ ? Is it a quirky rhyming scheme or some kind of creative absurdity? No explanations!  To be very frank ‘Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola’ doesn’t even sound like a Hindi film. No wonder some people thought it could be a Telugu movie!

When the film was being promoted ahead of its release the director had claimed that the movie was about land acquisition and it was a political satire. As cinegoers we understand the limitations of being a mainstream Bollywood director but it doesn’t mean he has the licence to play with our wits and makes us feel like ‘Gulabi Bhains’.

Harphool Mandola aka Harry (Pankaj Kapoor) is a builder who also operates as a land shark. He wants SEZ (Special Economic Zone) in the vicinity of his village and dreams of smoking chimneys instead of lush green agricultural fields. Matru (Imran Khan) is a ‘Jattan Ka Chora’ who after completing his education from Delhi is forced to work as a bonded labourer to Mandola because his grandfather had taken some kind of loan from him.

Harry’s daughter Bijlee (Anushka Sharma) is a bindas village belle who doesn’t mind getting a strategically placed tattoo in Hindi screaming ‘Dekho Magar Pyar Se’. Like all typical Indian fathers Harry wants his daughter to marry Badal (Arya Babbar), the son of a corrupt female politico Chaudhuri Devi (Shabana Azmi). This matrimony is supposed to be an integral part of the SEZ land acquisition which would catapult Harry into the big league of builders.

If narrated in linear motion this story would have been easier to grasp but Vishal Bhardwaj takes the random route. His characters do random things in the first half and do not make any meaningful progress till the interval. Just before the interval there is a twist and the film gets political with Matru doubling up as Mao.

The story meanders aimlessly in the second half as well but the screenplay holds the film to a certain point. We get some nuanced lines from the characters. Pankaj Kapoor comes to his own in the second half and makes the movie bearable. He along with Shabna Azmi comes up with the best performances in the movie.

Imran Khan doesn’t look convincing playing a Jat lad and so is Anushka Sharma. She is a complete misfit in the film. ‘Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola’s music is also very average with only the title track creates some buzz at the end.

‘Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola’ is an average film which fails to meet the high standards set by the director. Watch it only if you are willing to see veterans like Pankaj Kapur and Shabana Azmi displaying their ability to perform with conviction without much storyline support.

First Look : Trailer For ‘Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola’

The first trailer for Vishal Bhardwaj’s upcoming film ‘Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola’ has been released online for the audience.  Vishal has casted actors like Imran Khan, Anushka Sharma, Pankaj Kapur, Shabana Azmi and Arya Babbar in this movie and the shooting is in full swing as the year comes to a close.

‘Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola’ is scheduled for early January 2013 release. Take a look at the trailer..

Movie Review:’Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’ (***)

‘Ek Main Aur Ek Tu’ is a typical Bollywood romantic comedy. It seems to be inspired from many Hollywood flicks like ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ ‘Hang Over’ and others. Targeted at the youth this movie is an average romantic comedy made watchable by smart performances from its lead star cast.

The story penned by Shakun Batra and Ayesha Devitre pack good verbal punches in the screenplay. The plot is simple and follows ‘A boy meets a girl’ narrative.  An uptight, out of job architect, Rahul Kapoor (Imran Khan) meets an effervescent Riana Braganza (Kareena Kapoor) on a drunken night. The odd duo strike up a conversation, drink and make merry only to realize the next morning that they are married. Circumstances force the two to stay together for 14 days before they can get their marriage annulled. And in these 14 days, life changes for the two.

The film is predictable and slow in the beginning but it picks up pace later. It is the second half when movie manages to catch viewer’s attention. It depicts the journey of Rahul traversing his path from adolescence to being an adult.

The director Shakun Batra has done smart as the treatment of the movie is fresh and his narrative is quite interesting. Acting wise Kareena Kapoor steals the show with a convincing performance. She looks gorgeous and lively in her role. She is ably supported by Imran Khan who has done justice his role. His boyish charms work in his favour.

Actors like Boman Irani have nothing special to do in the movie. Music of the movie is peppy and popular. The title track and Áunty Ji’ have become chartbusters even before the release. This movie is perfectly timed as it is released in the Valentine Week. So celebrating the week with your partner in a movie theatre watching Imran-Kareena in action will not be a bad idea.

‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’ Recovers Money Before Its Release

Mumbai: (IANS) Karan Johar`s ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’ has yet to hit the screens but the filmmaker has already recovered Rs.21 crore which he had invested in producing the romantic comedy starring Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor. The production budget of the film was Rs.21 crore and the maker spent another Rs.8 crore on print, advertising and publicity etc. The news is that ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’ has recovered Rs.15 crore by selling satellite rights and Rs.6 crore from music.

An official spokesperson of the film said: “All our primary costs have been recovered. We are very confident of our film and what it does at the box office only adds to the kitty of earnings.” A strong pre-release buzz has surrounded the film and Karan feels this is because the lead pair has added a zing to their performance.

“Very rarely do lead players in a film get the opportunity to essay characters that are so close to their real life – Imran and Kareena are playing themselves in `Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu` and that`s why they have been able to add that extra zing to their performances. It`s a slice of life film… a slice of their own lives,” said Karan in a statement.

The film is releasing Friday coinciding with Valentine`s Day celebrations.

Friday Release: Mere Brother Ki Dulhan

Yet another romantic comedy from the Yash Raj Films has hit theatres today. ‘Mere Brother ki Dulhan’ is a love story of a  unique sort where two brothers end up wanting to be with the same girl.

 It is a hilarious love triangle and a peppy script to suit the audiences across different age groups as it offers complete  entertainment for everyone. Kush Agnihotri, the younger brother played by Imran Khan is an assistant director in  Bollywood who is now on a mission to find a suitable bride for his elder brother.

Ali Zafar who plays the role of Luv Agnihotri is the elder one who has a secured job in London. Luv has had a break up with  his long-term girlfriend, Piyali played by Tara D’Souza, and is now desperate to move on. In an attempt to move on, Luv calls  his younger brother Kush in India and tells him to bride-hunt for him. He trusts his younger brother to find an ideal girl for  him as the two share the same taste. Now Kush launches the hunt for the suitable bride.

After many failed attempts, one day he gets a call from a bureaucrat played by Kawaljeet in response to a matrimonial add    for Luv. Kush goes to meet the girl and her father. He is shocked to meet Dimple Dixit played by Katrina Kaif, as he knows of her as a wild and adventurous girl who he had met in at an excursion five years ago.

But the two families happen to approve and like each other so the preparations of Luv and Dimple’s wedding start. Now during the course of preparations, Kush and Dimple happen to fall in love with ea ch other.Dimple speaks her heart out to Kush who takes a little longer to realise that he too is in love with her. But a few days down the line Kush realizes the same and then begins the quest of lovers to unite in an awkward situation like this.

Ali Abbas Zafar’s story is based on the age-old formula of a love triangle and is not necessarily novel. However, the screenplay, also penned by the director himself, keeps the audience involved and engrossed at all times.

The story unfolds in such a manner that the viewers are eager to know what is going to happen next. At places, the screenplay dips but over all Ali Abbas Zafar manages to keep the story engaging.

The emotional undercurrents in the drama make it more than just a light-hearted comedy. The dialogues are good and entertaining at the same time. The youth will definitely identify more with the dialogues than the older generation.

Katrina looks as gorgeous as ever and she does justice to her role as the wild child Dimple.

Imran Khan sticks to his chocolate boy image once again and watching Pakistani singer Ali Zafar in a Bollywood film is a good treat to the eyes.

All in all a light hearted hilarious rom-com which surely makes it a must go for this weekend!