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Dostana November 24, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.
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I wasn’t surprised at the hype this film generated before and after its release. After all, isn’t it coming from Karan Johar’s stable? As you might be familiar, anything closely resembling “bold” from there (or YRF for that matter) is sanctified by the media to the level of national debate. This time it is about the “mature handling of gay relationships”. Yeah right! if making a compendium of Hollywood and Bollywood’s gay jokes till date and using it in a single film means that. Though repetitive most of these gags do make you laugh; especially when you are watching this in a packed auditorium you tend to laugh even at some not-so-funny stuff just because everyone else is.

Sam (Abhishek Bachchan) and Kunal (John Abraham) bump into each other while they are looking for an apartment; however the existing occupant Neha (Priyanka Chopra) needs female roommates but since these guys are desperate for the house, they pretend to be gay in order to bypass the “girls only” clause. The usual gay jokes follow and the tempo hits an all time high with the arrival of Sam’s hyper Punjabi mom (who else but Kirron Kher). Once the jokes run out, the guys decide to fall in love with Neha. But since this is a two hero film where both the heroes are on equal footing when it comes to wooing the girl, it is obvious that a third guy (Bobby Deol) is required to come and take her away. The mush which we are treated to for the next 30 minutes or so is quite irritating – especially since it follows a fun-filled first hour. However, things get back on track as Sam and Kunal try to sabotage Neha’s new found love. The scenes featuring the kid in this part are too good.

Though I mostly enjoyed this flick I wouldn’t call it a great comedy. Like I said before it only works when you are watching it in a packed auditorium. The performances are uniformly good. Abhishek, Kirron Kher and Shrey Bawa (who plays Bobby’s son) stand out among the rest. Priyanka’s outfits are as skimpy as it gets but (as always) I don’t find her hot. Sorry, it’s actually John who wears the skimpiest costumes – during the first few minutes into the movie he seems so desperate to show a glimpse of his butt. But definitely, this is the first film where he actually performs well and is likeable.

Vishal-Shekhar’s music is no great shakes except for the “Maa ka Laadla” song – which works mainly due to the picturization but I find that “Desi Girl” number highly irritating. The film is entirely shot in Miami so there’s lot of eye candy to catch. Tarun Mansukhani – who has been assisting Karan right from KKHH inherits the same style and sensibilities as his mentor. On the whole, Dostana is a timepass fun watch which just entertains as long as it lasts but is nowhere great as described in some glowing reviews.

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Chintakayala Ravi October 6, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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The catchy title itself lets you know what to expect from this one. Moreover with Venkatesh in the lead things look all set for a great fun-filled entertainer. Does Chintakayala Ravi deliver? Well it does in parts. On the whole it is a decent entertainer but doesn’t fall in the league of Venky’s previous blockbusters.

Chintakayala Ravi (Venkatesh) works as a bartender in the US. Initially supposed to study for being a Software Engineer, he lets go of his money in unforseen circumstances due to which he ends up in his current profession. However, everyone back home (especially her mom) is still made to believe he really is working as a Software Engineer. Based on this notion they find a girl Lavanya (Mamata Mohandas) for him. Now Lavanya has a friend in the US – Sunita (Anushka) whose help she uses to verify Ravi’s credentials. What happens of him and his marriage when Ravi’s true identity is disclosed is for you to see.

The story though not new is nevertheless much welcome but director Yogesh hasn’t capitalized on that fully. the humor works only in parts relying more on Kona Venkat’s one-liners than genuinely funny situations. I felt this one actually worked more as a love story (which begins quite late into the movie) than a comedy. Venkatesh is completely at home doing his usual stuff and he effectively holds the entire film. Despite the presence of the usual gang of comedians, he ends up stealing the show mostly. Anushka for a change gets a nice role to play while Mamata doesn’t have much to do. There are a few cameos too – Nikita was quite funny and NTR does a jig in one of the songs.

Vishal-Shekhar’s music has nothing great to write home about except for the first song. They shouldn’t have used their “Jag Soona” number from OSO in this film as it resulted in some unprovoked comments and laughter during some of the heavy duty moments. Better humor and probably doing a bit more justice to the romantic track would have worked wonders for Chintakayala Ravi but still it manages to be an above average Venky entertainer.