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Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! November 30, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.
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After the wonderful Khosla Ka Ghosla in 2006, director Dibakar Banerjee returns with Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!. Revolving around the life of a thief – supposed to be inspired from a real life character called “Bunty”, OLLO traces the story of Lucky (Abhay Deol) who effortlessly steals cars, usual stuff from rich homes and um…pretty much everything actually. We catch glimpses of his not-so-happy childhood barring his teenage love, his never ending exploits as a thief – involving his sidekick Bangali (Manu Rishi), forced Godfather Goga Bhai (Paresh Rawal) and new-found love Sonal (Neetu Chandra). There are two more Paresh Rawals who Lucky has to deal with elsewhere in the film.

This film is more like a semi-biopic of Lucky and in this regard I think the promos were a bit misleading in suggesting it to be somewhat a comic thriller. Though it isn’t one there is enough happening so that you never get bored at any point of time. Like his previous film OLLO relies mostly on its colorful characters and understated humor – in fact the humor here is far more subtle and that’s the reason it takes some time before the film starts growing on you. On the flipside, I thought the social satire aspect didn’t work too well. Also, the ease with which Lucky robs stuff seems too far-fetched. A couple of instances are funny and believable but then it is suggested that he is successful umpteen times using a similar bunch of tricks.

There’s a scene here about handling a watch-dog which apart from being quite informative was a genuine ROFL moment I’ve had in a long time. Also, check out that equally funny scene when Paresh Rawal is trying to hit Lucky and in the background Lucky’s little brother gets into the mood with some hilarious air-moves. The film has a strong Punjabi flavor accentuated by a jarring musical score but thankfully it doesn’t creep too much into the dialogue; otherwise I surely would have missed some of the humor.

Abhay Deol adds another impressive film to his already super-impressive filmography. As usual he is a complete natural and absolutely at ease with his character. In the film, it might be hard to believe his robberies but there’s no wonder why his victims and even the police seemed to love him. Though it’s high time he got his due in mainstream cinema, I’d still love to see him continue doing what he’s been at till now. Neetu Chandra is wonderful yet again. I was quite impressed by her in Traffic Signal and Godavari; and once again she puts up an extremely convincing act. Her’s is quite a short role but it’s one of the very few instances in films where you get to see in a very believable way how a girl is attracted to someone when commonsense should suggest otherwise. Paresh Rawal and Archana Puran Singh are the only other known faces and they are quite good too. I couldn’t get the significance of having Paresh in three different roles – maybe it was supposed to mean that each was an unpleasant father-figure in different phases of Lucky’s life.

There’s a big list of highly impressive debutants here. Topping the list is the greeting card shop girl (I couldn’t figure out her name). Manjot Singh who plays Lucky in his teens is also too good. Ditto for Manu Rishi (as Lucky’s sidekick) and Dolly Chadda. Dibakar Banerjee doesn’t try to make OLLO a crowd pleaser like Khosla Ka Ghosla. Though it is more flawed it is actually a much smarter film than the latter. If it’s something you like then there’s also a Johnny Gaddaar like homage to vintage slapped all over it. I think I missed a few things in the film on first viewing, so would definitely be catching it once again after a few months on TV or DVD. Go and watch OLLO with an open mind – it’s a nice addition to the list of genuinely hatke films we’ve had this year.

Love Story 2050 July 7, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.
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Ladies and Gentlemen…..take note – Harry Baweja has set a new benchmark for cinematic realism. Just a couple of instances if you find it hard to believe me. There’s a scene where the time machine takes off for the year 2050. But it’s not just Harman and gang which takes off….you yourself feel that you’ve lived through 42 years on your seat until that scene finally comes. Also, towards the end our hero is supposed to come back to the time machine before a certain deadline so that he’s safely returned to the present otherwise he’s supposed to actually grow 42 years older. A significant proportion of the audience seem to have felt the same would happen to them also and not convinced that Harman would make it in time, they started to leave the auditorium hurriedly.

In between those two events unfortunately you get to see what is undoubtedly most flawless VFX work ever accomplished in Indian Cinema. I said unfortunately only because I feel sorry for those guys at Prime Focus and Weta Digital whose effort in all probability will remain unseeen by those it was intended for. They can thank Harry Baweja for this. It really takes lot of imagination to make such an uneventful and boring film when the theme you are dealing with it time travel and reincarnation. In fact this film is so boring that you won’t even know it is about time travel and reincarnation unless you knew beforehand.

Here is Love Story 2050 compressed for you so you can avoid a trip to the theatre. Guy love girl…girl love guy (repeat cycle till 5 minutes before interval). Then girl die…guy remember girl say she want to travel to “Mumbai 2050”. Guy get brilliant idea that girl will reborn in “Mumbai 2050” and he start time travel to “Mumbai 2050” (Simultaneous, Harry Baweja start throwing 60 crore in drain). “Mumbai 2050” largely consist firangs and rule by gay fashion designers and their creation. Guy find red hair girl who look exactly like her 2008 girl. Finally, red hair girl remember 2008 duet (really nice tune by Anu Malik) and 2008 personal diary and decide to come back 2008. Story End (Simultaneous, Harry Baweja also stop throwing money in drain).

Harman Baweja has to live with being called a Hrithik clone for a while. He does show promise and it is unfair to judge him based on this film….but check out his “Milo na Milo” moves. Priyanka is borderline irritating (more to do with her 2050 costumes). The only time when you actually smile during the movie is when Harman says “I don’t need luck, I have love”. It’s funny because when Daddy Baweja might have thought of that line, he never would have guessed how wrong it would prove for him. Watch this one only if you want to show some solidarity with the VFX team.