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This will be my last post for a while. In the next few days I will be leaving to go study abroad in India for the semester. I don’t know how often I am going to be able to post but I will do my best. Hopefully I will be able to continue writing my reviews. Some of the films that are on my queue for my time in India include, Madras Cafe, Satyagraha, Besharam, The Lunchbox, Krish 3 and many others. Thank you for reading my reviews and I look forward to writing more in the future. 

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INTRODUCTION

Chadni Chowk to China (CCTC) was Warner Brothers first attempt at making a Bollywood film. I was really impressed with the beginning because the intro of the film really grabbed my attention. I really thought that the cinematography was top notch and really demonstrated the money and time that Warner Brothers put into this film. But soon after that, I really saw what this film had to offer. If I had to describe this type of film I would say think, Karate Kid mixed with Kung Fu Panda mixed with Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and mixed with Hindi comedy and this is what the result would be. The action scenes were very well done and intense. The martial arts done in the film were top notch. For me, the story line started loosing more and more of my interest as it went on. The plots became predictable, the relationships were made in the blink of an eye and there were several scenes that could have been omitted from the film. Overall it was a little entertaining but it did leave a lot of room for improvement. 

PLOT PREVIEW

This film starts off with a village in China being run by a tryrant named Hojo. None of the villagers can stand up to Hojo or they will be killed. So a few of the villagers find a priest and ask him to help them. So the priest tells them that the legendary warrior Liu Sheng has been reincarnated into a man in India. The villagers decide to go to India to find this man. Then comes Sidhu (Akshay Kumar) who is a cook in India at a small local restaurant with his mentor Dada. One day Sidhu is with his guru friend named Chopstick when 2 Chinese guys come up to him and tell him that he is Liu Sheng. Chopstick (Yeah that’s his name) tells Sidhu that the two of them should go to China with these guys, thinking that he and Sidhu will be glorified heroes if they go. On the way to China they meet Sakhi (Deepika Padukone). Hojo hears that Sidhu has come to stop him so Hojo challenges and beats Sidhu in a fight in front of the entire village. Sidhu trains in Kung Fu to get his revenge and that is when the film really takes off. 

ACTING / CHARACTER REVIEW

This part of the review is going to be very short. I was not impressed with any of the characters in the film. The acting was either emotionless from some or too over the top from others. There were a few scenes where Deepika Padukone had to cry and it looked very fake. Akshay Kumar acted like a goofy guy the entire film so it was really hard to take him seriously, especially during his emotional scenes. Overall there are plenty of other films these two have done where their talents as actors have really shown. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

This film was a little over 2 and a half hours long and it did not go by fast. I couldn’t get entranced by this film. It seemed to corny and fake to me. I wasn’t a big fan of most of the humor in this film. I thought the film looked nice and all of the fight scenes were awsome. But the film seemed similar to certain other movies. For example, the way that the characters jumped around in this film was very similar to that of the characters in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. During Sidhu’s training it reminded me of the Karate Kid. This film was directed by Nikhil Advani and I feel he just tried to do too much in this film. As I mentioned earlier there could have been several scenes taken out that would not have changed the film one bit but would have made it more compact. Nikhil directed one of my top ten favorite films of all time Kal Ho Naa Ho and sadly CCTC was not on par with that film. I like both of these actors and I really like the director, so it puzzles me why this film didn’t work out. I will say it was very different then any other Hindi film I had seen before. For all of the Reasons I have given and more I give Chadni Chowk to China a 2.75 out of 5 stars. 

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Coming Soon My Review of Chadni Chowk to China!!!

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INTRODUCTION

Wanted was one of the highest grossing films of 2010. After watching this film I could see why. It was an intense action - packed and funny film. Wanted had a typical Salman Khan feel to it. He plays a cool hero who is full of angst and doesn’t take any thing from any one. Salman fought tons of guys in the film and it was awsome watching him do it. He threw them through buildings, windows and concrete like it was nothing. This film reminded me a lot of his Dabaang films which I liked, so that might be a reason why I enjoyed this film. The film is a little predictable until the end. Then there is a twist that really intensifies the movie. I really liked how Salman’s character like many heroes in Hindi action films had a signature catch phrase. This film doesn’t have the best dialogues but if you can overlook that then you will enjoy this film. This film is a typical Hindi action film. It really wasn’t too unique but it was fun to watch.

PLOT PREVIEW

This film starts off with Radhe (Salman Khan) who is a thug for hire. He will hurt or kill anyone for the right price. One day he sees a girl named Jhanvi (Ayesha Takia) being harassed by a corrupt police officer. Radhe through a series of events helps her out and they become friends. Eventually they become more then friends. When they are about to confess their love for each other they are attacked by a gang of thugs and Jhanvi sees Radhe killing the thugs. She gets scared and runs away. If that wasn’t bad enough one of the worst Dons Mumbai has ever seen named Gani Bhai (Prakash Raj) has returned to take back control of Mumbai. Once Gani Bhai returns that is when the film really takes off. 

ACTING / CHARACTER REVIEW

This film really centered around three characters. Radhe, Jhanvi and Gani Bhai. Radhe was the cool action hero that almost every Hindi action film has. Salman Khan nailed it with his performance. Salman Khan was the perfect choice for this role. He was cool, collected and could act embarrassed and shy if he needed to. Also I would like to add all of Salman’s emotions seemed real. This really helped get me into the film. Ayesha Takia played the shy quite Jhanvi very well. Like Salman, all of her emotions seemed real to me too and they really helped to define her character. Her and Salman’s chemistry was top notch in the film. I was impressed. Last but not least was Prakash Raj as the villain of the film Gani Bhai. He was deranged and evil and fit the film very well. Prakash Raj really does know how to be scary. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I did have a few criticisms of this film though. One of them being that not all of the content was entertaining in the film. There were times where I was bored. I feel there were scenes that could have been omitted that could have made this a more compact film. Also I felt there were too many songs. As I mentioned some of the dialogues weren’t the best but that’s ok because this isn’t a intense thriller but an action movie. This film was directed by Prabhu Deva. I really thought that Prabhu did a fine job directing. He really did make an entertaining film. I love cameos. I loved Prabhu Deva, Anil Kapoor and Govinda’s cameo in the song Jalwa. I think Salman Khan was an awsome action star in this film but the film was lacking in some areas. But my favorite scene was the final fight scene of the movie. For all of the reasons I have given and more I give Wanted a 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

 

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Coming Soon My Review of Wanted!!!

Coming Soon My Review of Wanted!!!

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INTRODUCTION

Lafangey Parindey really starts off with a cool idea but it just doesn’t finish through. When the film started it grabbed my attention and within the first 20 minutes of the film I felt very intrigued by the story line. Very soon after that, the film started becoming incredibly predictable. The film had some cool moments but not enough to keep my attention. In fact, the premise of the film is about two people skating together in the India’s Got Talent contest. I will admit all of the stuff they did when skating was a lot better then what I could ever do but some of it just looked lame. It was really difficult for me to get behind the characters because seeing them “dance”  wasn’t all that great. Now the fighting scenes in the film were pretty intense and they did lay for a good back drop for the story. But this film seemed very rushed to me. A lot of the emotions from the characters escalated too quickly and overall I thought it was an average film.

PLOT PREVIEW

Lafangey Parindey starts off with Nandan (Neil Nitin Mukesh) driving his friend for a job for the mob. Nandan also boxes for the mob and for extra glory he does it blindfolded. The job for the mob goes bad and Nandan has to drive his friend who is now shot and bleeding away in the rain. While driving he hits someone but doesn’t have the time to stop. Later on you find out that he hit a girl named Pinky (Deepika Padukone). Pinky is a roller skating dancer who wants to compete in the India’s Got Talent competition. After being hit by the car she is blinded. Full of grief Nandan decides to teach her how to see even though she is blind. After Pinky starts being able to get around she convinces Neil to be her dance partner in the competition. It is after that when the film really takes off. 

ACTING / CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

I have see both of these actors do phenomenal jobs in other films but this one was not their best. Neil was pretty emotionless the entire time and his tears and anger seemed a little fake. Sometimes his emotions would come out of nowhere. Deepika Padukone’s interpretation of someone who was blind was not that accurate. I mean there were sometimes where her portrayal was accurate but most of the time it wasn’t. There really wasn’t much depth to these characters. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I thought the concept of this film was really cool. The training scenes where Neil was training Pinky to use her other senses were cool but it took her an unrealistic short amount of time to train her senses. The film would just use a montage and then all of a sudden now she can get around fine. Also there were times where when she was first blind that she was walking around as if she was normal. But then she would bump into something and be like “Oh I am blind”. I was not impressed with those scenes. As I mentioned earlier the film felt rushed and many of the things that could have been really cool about this film were done in a 4 minute montage. This film was directed by Pradeep Sakar who directed the award winning film Parineeta. Sadly this film was not up to those standards. Overall, the film is highly predictable and isn’t much different then many other movies. It wasn’t necessarily bad but it wasn’t great either. For all of the reasons I have given and more I give Lafangey Parindey a 3.0 out of 5 stars. 

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Coming Soon my review of Lafangey Parindey!!!!

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INTRODUCTION

When I first started watching this film, I honestly thought it was going to be a romantic movie that just happened to be about a guy joining the army. I was wrong. This film had a love story in it but it was not the focus of the film. Lakshya is a war movie. It is about the Kargil conflict in 1999. I had studied it a little bit in school so I had a basic understanding of the conflict that was going on. Lakshya reminded me of Hollywood films such as Shiloh and Pearl Harbor. It is a film that depicts what life is like on the front lines. There was so much raw emotion. This film depicted the pride that soldiers have very well. It also showed the fear and courage that most soldiers have too. There were some very emotional moments that really got to me in this film. I enjoyed the dialogues a lot and I think the cast did a phenomenal job of presenting this story. I feel the director and the cast took their time when making this film and I believed it payed off. 

PLOT PREVIEW

Lakshya starts off with Karan Shergill played by Hrithik Roshan. He comes from a nice family with a dad who is a business man played by Boman Irani. Karan is a fun loving kid who doesn’t know what he wants to do in life. His girlfriend Romi who is played by Preity Zinta is very career driven. One day Karan decides to join the army. His parents hate the idea and his girlfriend is proud of him for figuring out what he wanted to do. So Karan joins the officer academy and becomes a lieutenant in the army. There he meets his sergeant played by Om Puri and his commanding officer played by Amitabh Bachchan. After he meets them he is allowed to go on leave. While he is on leave, Pakistan invades part of India in the Kargil region. Karan is called back to fight and that is when the film really takes off. 

ACTING / CHARACTER REVIEW

I really enjoyed Hrithik’s portrayal of Karan. He showed pain, fear and happiness and none of it looked fake. Priety Zinta did a fine job in her role as Romi. I have no complaints. Same with Om Puri as Karan’s sergeant. I did want to say that I really liked Boman Irani’s acting in this film. Boman Irani plays Karan’s dad who thinks Karan is nothing more then a screw up. Eventually as the movie progresses Karan’s dad gives more and more respect to his son. I liked that. But what really sold it for me was one scene that really showcased the talents of both Hrithik and Boman. In the scene Hrithik calls his dad before he goes on a very dangerous mission. He and his dad really never talked like this before. But the raw emotions that came from their performance in this scene was phenomenal. It almost made me cry. Both of them really defined what good acting was in that scene. Last but not least was the commanding officer played by Amitabh Bachchan. He showed real pain when he saw how many soldiers he lost and he showed real joy when his soldiers did a good job. A great performance from a great actor. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I really enjoyed the plot of this film. It really kept you on your seats. It also showed some of the real horrors that come with war. Javed Akhtar wrote the script for this film and I think he did a fantastic job. In the film there is a scene where Romi is complaining about how war is terrible and how all of the fighting should just stop. A soldier over hears her and responds with in my opinion a very accurate and justifiable answer. This film was directed by Farhan Akhtar and he really got the most from his actors. I wasn’t to crazy about the songs in the film but maybe that was just me. Overall a very emotional and action packed film that will leave you wanting more. The ending was done very well. I really enjoyed the entire film with the exception of a few parts. If you like powerful and emotional movies then this film is for you. Just be warned there are some violent scenes in it. For all of the reasons I have given and more I give Lakshya a 4.25 out of 5 stars. 

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Coming Soon My Review of Lakshya!!!!!!

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INTRODUCTION

After watching Raajneeti, the first thought that came to my mind was what a well written film. The plot of the film was really well thought out and it showed. Yes Raajneeti was almost 3 hours but I really didn’t notice it because it was so enticing and dramatic. Let alone the acting in the film was done so well by the entire cast. To understand this film you need to have a basic understanding of the political system in India. I am in no way a expert on how politics work but I understand it enough to appreciate this movie. In my opinion, this is not a movie where you can have distractions around you because there is so much going on in the film. The beginning especially has so much information and it is key to pay attention then to understand the rest of the movie. But I thought this movie was really made well. 

PLOT PREVIEW

Raajneeti starts off with a political family in power.One day the leader of the party has a stroke. He is rushed to the hospital there and begins getting treatment. Eventually he can speak and with the help of the party’s adviser Brij Gopal (Nana Patekar)  he nominates his brother Chandra to lead the party. Chandra has two sons. One named Prithviraj who lives in India and works in the party and is played by Arjun Rampal. The other is a PHD student who is living in New York named Samar played by Ranbir Kapoor. When the leader announces Chandra’s nomination there was one senior political party member who had wished to be nominated named Veerendra Pratap played by Manoj Bajpai. One day Samar comes home for his uncles birthday and he gets to see his old friend Indu who is played by Katrina Kaif. Things become serious in the political world so Samar decides to stay. Veerendra really wanting to stick it to Chandra nominates one man from a part of the state against the parties wished. That man was Sooraj Kumar and he was played by Ajay Devgan. Together Sooraj and Veerendra try and manipulate the party to their will but it does not go as well as they hope. This is when the film really takes off. 

ACTING / CHARACTER REVIEW

There were so many huge name actors in this film and they did an amazing job in this film.You get to see Samar change throughout the film. At first he starts off very innocent and by the end he is willing to do whatever it takes to win. Ranbir Kapoor did a great job with this transition. You saw Samar change and it didn’t happen all of a sudden. Katrina Kaif as Indu might be my favorite role of hers yet. She was very bubbly and fun but when the situation became tough for her she broke down and it seemed authentic. Arjun Rampal as Prithviraj did a great job of showing a man who cared about his family but got to devoted to power. You got to see him also change throughout the film. This is something good actors can do. Nana Patekar was the adviser to the political party. His character was very two faced. On one he would play the public servant and appeal to the masses emotions . On the other he would be scheming and willing to do whatever it took to win. Manoj Bajpai demonstrated his jealousy so well in the film. He was a character that felt he had been robbed of his entitlement and wanted it more then anything even if he had to hurt some people to get it. Last but not least was Ajay Devgan. For him all I can say is Wow. There is one scene towards the end where he has so much conflict going on in his life that his character shows actual pain and tears. I could have believed Ajay Devgan’s character was a real person in that scene. Overall the acting in the film was fantastic. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I honestly felt that there were many similarities to this movie and the movie The Godfather.  You watch a son who wants nothing to do with politics eventually becomes one of the leaders of the party. You watch families hurt each other for political gains and it just reminds me of the Godfather. That could be one of the reasons why I liked it so much. My only real criticism of the movie was that the ending was a little flat. The entire film  was full of such emotion and power and I expected a spectacular ending but the last scene didn’t deliver compare to the rest of the film. I was expecting a little more. Other then that I have no complaints. This film was directed by Prakash Jha and I think he did an amazing job getting the most out of his actors. I heard he can be a tough director to work for but man does he know how to make a movie. His next film Satyagraha is coming out soon and if it is anything like this I will be running to the theater to see it. This film is so enticing that when I heard they were making a sequel, I became very excited. For all of the reasons I have given and more I give Raajneeti a 4.25 out of 5 stars.