Movie Review: ‘Udta Punjab’

By Neha Ravindran

Movie: Udta Punjab

Director: Abhishek Chaubey

Cast: Aalia Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh

Genre: Crime Drama

Amidst undying controversies, Udta Punjab finally released on 17th June. Censor Board had decided to be the big daddy and had demanded close to 89 cuts in the original screenplay as the movie sought to openly discuss the rampant drug abuse in Punjab. However, the Bombay high court struck down the Censor Board’s stay and passed the movie with only one cut. Udta Punjab is a social-crime drama based on the brutal reality of Punjab haranguing the youth of the state.
Tommy Singh (Shahid Kapoor) is a very popular rockstar in Punjab whose lyrics are representative of his drug addicted lifestyle. Sartaj Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) is a police officer who makes a good cut out of letting drug suppliers make deliveries without legal issues. Dr. Preet Sahni (Kareena Kapoor) runs a drug rehabilitation centre and is fighting a losing case against the drug mafias. A Bihari Immigrant ( Alia Bhatt) has come to Punjab in search of better times and lands up with a packet of heroine worth crores. These four characters find their life intricately caught in a web of drug addicts and suppliers, where their every step will change their life forever.
Each of these four characters have delivered phenomenal performances. Shahid Kapoor however is a show stealer as the rockstar Tommy Singh. Shahid takes you through a drug addict’s roller coaster ride with an intensity that will keep your eyes glued to the screen. Alia Bhatt is increasingly proving herself to be one of Bollywood’s genius discoveries. As a Bihari migrant, she has impeccably copied the accent, body language and constantly moulds her character to meet the demands of the script. Kareena and Diljit share an adorable on screen chemistry which will make your heart flutter and will have you wishing to have seen more of them together. Diljit is undoubtedly going to be a Bollywood heartthrob with a smile that will have his competitors running for their money.
Cinematography by Rajeev Ravi takes you down the rustic lanes of Punjab and into the heart of the state. Music by Amit Trivedi accompanied by the lyrics by late Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Shellee and Varun Grover is a lethal combination. My personal favourite are Chitta ve by Shahid Mallya, Bhanu Pratap and Babu Haabi and Ikk Kudi by Shahid Mallya. listen to these tracks, if you haven’t already. Udta Punjab leaves no stone unturned in establishing the grave situation in Punjab. This movie will leave you feeling deeply disturbed and agitated at how things could have unravelled right under the noses of the higher authorities. I left the hall with a very queasy feeling in my stomach and was reminded of a statement made by a friend, ” If the book you are reading or the movie you are watching arouses emotions that stubbornly make way into your everyday, know that the time spent on the book/ movie was worth it.”
Udta Punjab is a must watch for this weekend. I hope this good run of movies will continue next week as well.
My verdict: ****

Movie Review: ‘Haider’ by Neha Ravindran

haider-2Movie: Haider

Director: Vishal Bharadwaj

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Kay Kay Menon, Shraddha Kapoor

Genre: Drama

Vishal Bharadwaj has yet again plunged into the world of Shakespearean plays, and has emerged this time with the Indian adaptation of Hamlet. Now there are two problems with that. Firstly, till now you have cribbed about the complicated nature of Shakespearean plays, then you my dear! are in for a whole new definition of complex with Hamlet a.k.a. Haider. Second, Hamlet in Shakespeare’s longest play, nearly 4 hours long. So when you try squeeze it into a two and a half hour movie, the chopped off snippets are bound to come back and haunt. But Haider puts to rest all my apprehensions and suspicions. Vishal Bharadwaj with his astute directorial sense has crafted a masterpiece with his new film. It is one of those rare experiences, which leaves you speechless, astound and numb to your very core. Haider is not merely a movie, it is as real as it is fictional. Bharadwaj has brought to life theatrical realism with this movie.

Haider (Shahid kapoor) is a young man who is search of his beloved father who was arrested by the Indian Army for militancy. Arshia (Shraddha kapoor) is a journalist (and also his childhood lover) helps his search from camp to camp for his father. Ghazala (Tabu), Haider’s mother, is a traitor in his eyes for her increasing closeness to her brother-in –law. Then Haider receives a message of revenge from his father and his world turns upside down. Set in the backdrop of 1995’s Srinagar, the increasing dissent among people against AFSPA and issue of growing militant groups forms the core of the movie. Love, deceit, death, betrayal and insanity are the central figures personified through the characters.

Haider is one of the best roles essayed by Shahid so far into his career. And proving his potential, Shahid delivers one of his best performances in this movie. Every character has an etched space here. Tabu is mesmerising in her role of Haider’s mother, the half widow-half bride as she calls herself. Kay Kay Menon, without doubt a fantastic actor, lives upto our expectations from him. Shraddha Kapoor stands her ground despite being pitted against actors with great calibre. The journey of man through the insanity of a sane life has been captured with astonishing clarity and perfection. Symbolism reflected in the movie prods multiple interpretations and leaves the audience with lingering questions. Can a man be sane under the guise of sanity? Is revenge the ultimate freedom from the binding chains of loss and pain? Can love justify deceit or is the notion of love deceit in itself? How dead are the living and how alive are the dead for us?

If I were to describe the movie in one word, then I would call it haunting. Every scene, every dialogue every character will haunt every belief that you hold close and even those that you don’t. Haider is a must watch for all those who love to see the lines between reality and cinema blur into a spectacular experience.

Shahid Kapoor Plays Good Boy, Congratulates Saifeena On Wedding !

Bollywood actor and Kareena Kapoor’s ex boyfriend Shahid Kapoor has congratulated Saif Ali Khan and his partner who got married today. Shahid’s relationship with Kareena is a well known affair in Tinsel Town and there were many who thought that he might feel little dejected after this marriage.

Shahid showed no such inclinations and wished them a happy married life like a good boy. News agency PTI quoted Shahid Kapoor saying, “I would like to congratulate the family first. Marriage is a big occasion for the family. I have known Babita and Randhirji for a while. A daughter’s marriage is a big thing.”

“The decision to get married is a big one. I wish Saif and Kareena a happy married life,” Shahid told reporters here at an event the agency reported. Shahid has been involved with many actresses after he parted ways with Kareena but none of his relationships have been steady. It seems he is in no mood to settle down soon and he is having the time of his life staying single !



Movie Review: ‘Teri Meri Kahaani’ (** Two Star)

 (By Akshat Sharma) A love story spanning three generations could be nerve wrecking if the storyline and sequences become predictable. Director Kunal Kohli is known for his penchant for rom-com movies. The man who gave us hits like ‘Hum Tum’ and ‘Fanna’ looks disoriented and vague in his latest offering ‘Teri Meri Kahaani’. With Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra in the lead Kunal could have delivered another impressive movie but he wasted the opportunity by essaying a story which had too many weak links.

‘Teri Meri Kahaani’ showcases three love stories in three different time period and geographies. The first one is set in Lahore of 1910. In 1960 the story is set in Mumbai and in 2012 it reaches England. The chemistry between Shahid-Priyanka tries to save the movie but the story line is so predictable that even the best of their efforts fail to inspire enthusiasm in cine goers.

Shahid Kapoor gives a credible performance in all his three characters. Specially in his role of Javed Quadri he manages to bring smiles on audience faces. Surprisingly Priyanka Chopra’s performance looks routine in all three characters played by her. It certainly disappoints her fans who were looking forward to a better performance from her.

Music of the movie is the only high point of  ‘Teri Meri Kahaani’. Songs like ‘Mukhtasar’ and ‘Humse Pyar Kar Le Tu’ already became chartbusters before the movie released on the silver screen. This weekend ‘Teri Meri Kahani’ was supposed to be a big draw but it could only manage a mixed response from the audience. Watch the movie only if you are die-hard Shahid-Priyanka fan.


Save Me From Rajkumar’s Daughter: Shahid to Mumbai Police

Mumbai: (PTI) Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor has filed a police complaint against the daughter of yesteryear actor Raaj Kumar accusing her of stalking him.

The Mumbai police registered a non-cognisable offence against Vastavikta Pandit (33) after Shahid alleged that she had been harassing him for last six months.

In his complaint, Shahid said that she often blocked his way when he left his house to say that she was his biggest fan. On one occasion she allegedly entered the building where Shahid lives and kept knocking on his door.

Police said that they were trying to trace Vastavikta, and would issue her a warning.

Shahid Kapoor Has The ‘Best Butt In Bollywood’

Actor Shahid Kapoor’s butt has been rated as the best in the B’Town by a website.  In a week long poll the readers were asked to vote for the actor who they think has the best butt in Bollywood. Shahid Kapoor emerged as the winner.

Other Bollywood actors in the list were John Abraham, Imran Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Ranveer Singh but Shahid grabbed 37.06 percent defeating others with a comfortable margin.

When this news was brought to Shahid’s notice he could not stop laughing. Expressing his utter surprise on Twitter he wrote ” A poll on the best butt ……. Hahahaha ….. That just CRACKS me up .. (Sic)”

Earlier John Abraham used to be winner in this category but this year he only managed to secure 16.21 percent of the votes and had to share this second position with Ranbir Kapoor.

‘Mausam’ is really Awesome!

Coming straight from the stables of actor-turned-director Pankaj Kapoor, ‘Mausam’ can be best described as a wonderful blend of offbeat and mainstream cinema which is full of charm, elegance and vivacity.

Starring Shahid Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Anupam Kher and Manoj Pahwa, Pankaj makes sure that ‘Mausam’ is not a run of the mill potboiler high on glitz and glamour but a work of art which is based on meaningful cinema. At heart, the film is a simple love story told in a beautiful manner. ‘Mausam’ is the story of Harinder Singh aka Harry (Shahid Kapoor), a boy from rural Punjab waiting for a call from Indian Army and Aayat (Sonam Kapoor), a displaced Kashmiri girl and their love story which stretches over a decade, marred by communal violence, Mumbai blasts, Kargil war and Gujarat riots.

‘Mausam’ wells up nostalgia with its old world romance between Harry and Aayat’s sensitive cross-community love story, running through the heart of contemporary India. The lovers meet only to part again, a chance meet in Scotland and later re-unite in burning Gujarat.

In ‘Mausam’, Shahid Kapoor proves that he is much more than chocolaty good looks and has come of age from the boy next door portrayals. Shahid looks every bit convincing as he pulls off the role of a passionate lover and an air force pilot with élan. Sonam Kapoor too acts well and comes across as a charming girl with grace personified. Add to this is the magic of Binod Pradhan’s eye-catching cinematography and Pritam’s lilting tunes, which take the film to an altogether different level.

‘Mausam’ is a beautiful emotional rollercoaster and a must watch film if you are a Sosha fan.

NDA students write to Mausam makers

The khakhi wardi (uniform) of the Indian police and army has adorned many Bollywood heroes in the past. But rarely do we see the Indian Air Force (IAF) take center stage. When actor Shahid Kapoor slipped into a crisp white shirt and light blue jacket for his role as an Air Force pilot in father Pankaj Kapur’s directorial debut, Mausam, the people he was least expecting appreciation from were the students at the National Defense Academy (NDA).

But over the last few weeks, the makers of Mausam claim that have been inundated with over 1,000 letters from NDA students thanking the young actor for making the IAF and its uniform “look cool”. “It’s an overwhelming response that we’ve received.

They’re appreciating his character, look and have given his uniform, moustache and aviator glares a special mention,” says the official spokesperson for the film. This will also be the first time that Shahid has sported a moustache on screen. Director Kapur too is glad. “It’s good to see audiences are liking his look inthe film,” he says.

In the recent past, Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn have played police officers in the hit films Dabangg and Singham respectively, and Aamir Khan too is shooting for Reema Kagti’s next, where he will seen playing a cop. Forthcoming film Force starring John Abraham too revolves around a police officer.

Was making Shahid an Air Force pilot a deliberate move away from what has been portrayed time and again? “Police and army uniforms have been depicted in many films, but Shahid as a pilot was in sync with the script, which we took forward to the big screen” explains the spokesperson, adding, “After the response, we think it (the Air Force) will come to the forefront and people will take notice.” The film is set to release on September 16.

 ( Courtesy: Hindustan Times)