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Bujjigadu – Made in Chennai May 25, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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In hindsight, one can figure out why Bujjigadu has turned out to be the way it is. Puri Jagannadh’s films always revolve around a hero who can talk – especially with a reckless street-smart accent. Now, among the leading men of today Prabhas is the only guy in the “top league” who has extremely poor dialogue delivery skills when compared to his contemporaries. So, what does Puri do?

Prior to watching this one, I guessed that Mohanbabu was in the movie to do the talking. I was wrong. What happens is this – In the film’s runtime of say 2hrs 40 minutes, there are not less than 2 hours of fights (the same old flying people stuff) and songs. In the remaining 40 minutes where some conversation happens, to justify the tagline “Made in Chennai” Prabhas speaks in Tamil (which he speaks exactly in the way he says his Telugu lines – so that atleast you can’t criticize him for speaking a language you don’t understand – clever move!!!). The rest of the time when he does speak Telugu, he somehow makes it work at times but is highly inconsistent as he slips back into his old mode of delivery regularly. I had to write all this stuff simply because my hands refuse to move on the keyboard to describe the plot. Anyways, that was Bujjigadu summed up.

Hmm…What else did I forget?? Oh…yes, watch out for Prabhas say “Darling” and Mohanbabu use Hindi gaalis combined with some English – if the rest of the movie didn’t make you bang your head against a wall, this definitely will! There was a exodus of people running out of the theatre whenever the songs came on….not because they were bad but to prepare themselves for an extended fight scene which would immediately follow after that. It was not like I had great expectations from Bujjigadu but I never expected it to be headache inducing. Maybe a more capable star than Prabhas would have made this one sail through.

There are some laughs which Bujjigadu delivers at times but that is not good enough justification to sit through this one….unless you are a die-hard fan of Prabhas or Puri Jagannadh.

P.S. Coming out the theatre I immediately booked a ticket for the next show of Prince Caspian (which I actually never intended to see in the first place) to neutralize the Bujjigadu effect.

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Om Shanti Om November 12, 2007

Posted by Sai in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.
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I knew this would be an entertaining film but it exceeds my expectations. Choreographer turned writer-director Farah Khan outdoes herself this time. If she displayed her love for Bollywood in her debut feature Main Hoon Na, that affection takes center stage this time around. This film not only belongs to the seventies masala genre that she loves so much but it also features the seventies, pays tributes to various stars and films of the time as well as the current generation and then also pokes some light-hearted fun at the film industry and the actors, all in the same film!

Farah Khan might not be an encyclopedia on Hindi films like her brother Sajid but clearly, these films have become a part of her being. The theme she selects this time is reincarnation, something that hasn’t been visited in recent times (the last I recall was Sanjay Gupta’s flop film, Hameshaa). I won’t even try to describe the story of this film because anybody who has seen a couple of films on this theme in the past can figure out the basic outline. However, Farah and co-writer Mushtaq Sheik do spring a surprise with the climax, especially once you start believing that the film is quite predictable.

The story is set around the film industry and it works as an excellent placeholder to display her love for films of two generations. This is in fact the primary reason that this film works. The best moments in the film are all woven from this aspect (and they are neatly integrated with the main storyline too) and there are some extremely howlarious moments here. The Filmfare awards sequence with the spoofed film trailers (reminded me of Grindhouse), the fake interviews and the actors’ responses is a comic gem. The Sooraj Barjatya piece is just priceless. The Manoj Kumar bit was side-splitting fun. And thats not all. There’s Mohabbat-Man, the Dhoom Tana song reliving songs from the sixties and seventies, a small bit on the entry of the Virar-ka-chokra Govinda, Shahrukh pretending to be a South Indian superstar shouting out “Enna Rascala” and “Mind It” and much much more to keep you laughing. And she makes Shahrukh poke fun at himself too.

Yes, Farah Khan clearly know how to have fun and she also understands how to show the audience a good time. In doing that, she ropes in almost all the big stars (Amitabh Bachchan and Son, Hrithik Roshan and Dad, Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan, Saif Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Mithun and many more biggies) in the film industry. The great-grandmother of all item songs, the Deewangi number has twenty odd superstars (including some not so super, not really stars like Dino Morea) walking in and out of frames, doing their most popular steps and a few more stars show up in the Filmfare awards sequence leaving the star-struck audience wanting more. It is nice to see the camaraderie among the film fraternity (even if pessimists might call some of it artificial).

Farah also deserves special kudos for the end titles. She ropes in most of her crew members, including spot boys, to be on screen for a few seconds of fame. The generally neglected folks who work behind the scenes are made to feel special. And this was the first time that I’ve seen the entire audience stay back till the end of the titles.

Shahrukh Khan carries the film on his shoulders. He does all that is asked of him (though this isn’t the role that critics will admire). He acts, he cries, he mouthes poetry, he wears his underwear over his tights, he romances Deepika, he dances, he shows off his six pack and he also overacts as per the requirement. The debutant, model-turned actress Deepika Padukone (daughter of Badminton champion Prakash Padukone), is a real beauty. In fact, she is so good looking that she will get enough offers even if she was wooden. However, she does acquit herself well and is set for a promising career. Shreyas Talpade is good and Kirron Kher is super, especially in the scenes where she overacts. Arjun Rampal does fine as the bad guy of the piece.

Vishal-Shekhar’s music doesn’t appeal as much in the soundtrack but the songs suit the film well. Ajab Si is clearly the best of the lot and KK does a great job singing it. However, it wasn’t really a part of the film and hence gets used only in the background. Sandeep Chowtha is roped in to do the background score and he doesn’t disappoint. Farah Khan’s choreography isn’t her best work though she does a couple of songs well. The cinematography (V. Manikandan) is good and the sets (Sabu Cyril gets to design quite a few here) fit in with the film.

If it is not clear yet, I will reiterate that this film is not one that revels in being realistic, sensible or novel (though it is novel in certain aspects). As long as you are willing to not take it seriously, this will thoroughly entertain you. This film gives you your money’s worth and then some and it also makes you laugh much more that most films masquerading as comedies.