That we love watching movies is now a lore, you'd think these reviews are arriving rather late in the day. So, one, I usually don't write when everyone else is watching the movie and busy tweeting and reviewing the movie if it's a must watch or a dampener. I prefer writing when everyone else has gone home with reams in their head about this and that and everything else.
The last SRK film I watched on the big screen was Billu (Billu Barber) for it had Irfan Khan (and he is god). All further releases after that, I've watched them on TataSky or discounted DVDs that dear husband buys off during seasonal sales. My sister insisted we watch Raees in the multiplex. Part of me was worried because, we have never visited the multiplex ever with kids unless a children's movie is in question. Even The Jungle Book in 3D failed to woo our two home-theater loving boys. They kept complaining it was too dark. Well, that's another story for another day.
Luckily for us, the boys had a hearty lunch so when the Udi-Udi Jaye song started they soared to a good afternoon siesta. Long story short, an aging SRK trying to do what Once Upon a Time in Mumbai did to Ajay Devgun. Ajay Devgun was class personified with his bell bottoms, long sideburns, stiff broad shirt collars and that mustache which took him to another level. Here, the only lingering memory of SRK was his kohl-ed eyes and tanned but pancaked skin, all in sepia. The lesser known support characters were good despite the strong editing which was to make SRK stand out - Nawazuddin's character of Majmudar looked too hurried to dispense justice and hence, did not move me so much despite the dialogues and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub should come out of his checklist as a character actor and start taking more fleshed-out roles, he must know he is very good. Mahira Khan was all sound(given the pre-release controversy), anyone could have done her role and still stayed forgotten. So, there was no story. It was a badly made porridge riding on that one promotional line of the antihero- "baniye ki dimaag aur miya bhai ki daring". Too many topics scattered here and there- there was Gujarat, communal politics, bootlegging, mohalle ka savior, encounter killings and Sunny Leone trying to dance. SRK, oops you tried but you're tired.
I don't remember watching too many notable Roshan Jr movies except Zindagi Na Milega Dobara where he played a near perfect but arrogant investment banker who can sing, swim and dance and perhaps, Agneepath. I've read more reams of his divorce and his mud-slinging with Kangana Ranaut.
We all know by now that Kaabil is a rape revenge drama involving a visually-challenged couple and two corrupt and lawless Maharashtrian corporator brother-duo played by real life brothers, Ronit and Rohit Roy. The pace is fast - fairy tale romance of two visually challenged professionals, marriage, and a double rape which culminates in suicide of Yami's character even before the intermission.
While it was encouraging to see a movie being made on visually-challenged people, the tepid way of dealing with relationships was disappointing and sexist to say the least. A self-reliant blind girl has to wear uncomfortable shoes to make her intended-to-be happy and familiar that she is around. Who cares about painful toes and wobbly walking and tripping on them? She has to let go of her walking stick in public because he is there for her only to get lost. She takes out her walking stick only to be interrupted by a love-is-in-the-air apology in the middle of a movie promotion in a mall. The worst is perhaps feeling sorry that she got raped twice and is no longer acceptable unconditionally because the man felt violated. So the suicide. The movie was a drag after that. Justifying it with the super revenge tactics is as lame as as believing that the world of the blind is a perfect world. But the disturbing part is, how do men deal with a raped spouse/relative? I do not have answers. Rohit Roy has not come out of his Swabhimaan avatar in terms of dialogue delivery and Ronit Roy is deliciously menacing as Bhausaheb.
Ratings - 1.5/5
Jolly LLB 2
Akshay Kumar has grown as an actor. Remember the hairy-chested Khiladi days where he gyrated nonsensically to Anu Malik songs? The turning point as a viewer happened with Ajnabee where he plays a villain to a dumb Bobby Deol and of course, the Hera-Pheri series. He started picking up smart scripts and kept pace with smart image makeovers. I've not missed too many of his movies after that. He looks relatable quite often and seems hardworking.
I really enjoyed Jolly LLB -1, Arshad Warsi was delightful as Jagdish Tyagi. I cannot think of anyone else as Jolly. And, I think I'm quite convinced about it. But then, it is Akshay Kumar this time and how could I not go!
The movie suddenly throws up a super progressive whisky-chugging Human Qureishi as Pushpa Pandey, wife of Jolly Pandey, originally from Kanpur now in Lucknow who rents a Gucci dress. I have no problem with her whisky act but it was such a miss and blink role from clapping for her husband in court which looked stupid to going through legal papers and evidence to find the fifth cop in the Ipbal Qasim/Qureishi (played achingly by Manav Kaul) encounter killing/murder and eating garma-garam rotis prepared by her husband.
My in-laws thoroughly enjoyed the movie given its hinterland flavor though Papaji thinks Arshad Warsi is miles better than version 2.0. We also reasoned that Arshad Warsi played a proper Dilliwala and that has its own spice and flavor. Akshay Kumar tried as Jolly version 2.0 and he maybe earning accolades but the actual star of the movie is our adorable teddy bear judge sahib, Saurabh Shukla who loves Alia Bhatt in all forms. You have to watch the movie for him. His mannerisms, his quirks as a father, a heart patient and a judge transferred from Delhi to Lucknow are bang on. The bunch of veteran actors who make up for the ensemble cast are not disappointing at all as Akshay's flaws get hidden by their craft. Kumud Mishra as a villain, yes. You also learn lyrical Lucknowi Hindi through Annu Kapoor who never fails to surprise you.
Ratings - 3/5