Sunday, October 21, 2007

Geleya - Youthful Venture


One more offering of this week “Geleya” with debutant director Harsha is based on present day underworld of Bengalooru. The other movie released this week “Aa Dinagalu” told similar story set in the mid 1980s gave us the authentic touch of what underworld is. This movie is set in the backdrop of friendship between two people. While “Aa Dinagalu” told it in a non-bloody way, this movie has bloodshed. Geleya would be surely liked for its narration and good performance of Prajwal. The mostly young crew of this movie gives the movie a youthful and slick looks.

It is the story of Vishwa (Tarun Chandra) and Guru (Prajwal Devraj) who land in Bengalooru to escape from getting caught after Guru injures the son of their village head when he talks ill about his best friend for life Vishwa. Vishwa has always helped Guru in getting him whatever he wants. Once they land in Bengalooru, Guru is mesmerized by the money involved in rowdyism and hatches a plan wherein he and Vishwa land up as two most trusted people of the two rival gangs – one belonging to Bhandari (Kishore) and Jayanna respectively. Guru gets involved in the underworld activities and is drawn away from Vishwa and his friendship after Guru kills Jayanna in front of Vishwa. Vishwa is made as the leader of the gang now and he seeks revenge upon Guru since Vishwa treated Jayanna as a fatherly figure. Vishwa in turn now kills Jayanna and Guru becomes the leader of that gang. Thus a gangwar breaks down between them which leads to lots of bloodbath. Even Vishwa’s wife Nandini (Kirat Bhattal) who is their childhood friend tries to bring truce between them but fails. Fed up of their gangwars, the Bengalooru police department appoints a tough cop Vijay (Duniya Vijay) to handle the case. He launches a war of encounters against the members of the gang and starts eliminating them. What happens to them and their friendship? Will they come back together? Watch on screen!!!

Prajwal after his debut in Sixer proves that he is well equipped to handle intense roles as well. His body language, emotions and dialogue delivery leave a great impact. Tarun after Khushi is good in the serious role. The heroine Kirat Bhattal is good looking but seriously needs acting lessons. Rangayana Raghu as the mediator between the two gangs is okay. Bullet Prakash impresses with his timely comedy. Vijay is good as the tough cop who can do anything to eliminate crime. Pooja Gandhi and Rakhi Sawant are present as “item” girls.

The movie has all the elements a good commercial venture should have – good script, the pace of the screenplay, good camerawork, good music, slick editing and good direction to top it up. Preetam Gubbi with good screenplay is impressive. Great camerawork by Krishna gives a great impact. Espicially in the song “Ee Sanje Yaakaagide” wherein he is said to have used the 435 Hawk Camera is simply a treat to watch. Hats off to this cameraman who is giving something new to us in each movie – first the new look Jog in Mungaru Male and this new look song shot at Rameshwaram. Music by “Manoo”(??) Murthy is impressive. Editing is slick and impressive. Background score adds to the feel of the movie but at places it reminded me of “Gandha Hai Par Dhanda Hai Yeh” from Company.

Harsha as the captain of the movie and choreographer gives a youthful touch to the movie. He has got his actors do their best. He surely is a promising newcomer. But he is a bit unconvincing at the point where the two guys get into their respective gangs so easily with so many people hanging around with guns and weapons. This made a mockery of underworld gang lords wherein they are depicted as being very sentimental. Commercial venture!!!

Bloopers: Me and almost everyone sitting beside me in the theatre noticed the wrong spelling of the word Commissioner which is spelt as “commisioner” on the table. :-)

Aa Dinagalu – Good Effort

Aa Dinagalu – Good Effort

Based on Agni Sridhar’s book “Dadagiriya Dinagalu”, this movie depicts the events that took place during the last days of Bangalore underworld don Kotwal Ramachandra during 1985. Debutant director Chaitanya succeeds in telling an underworld related story without any bloodshed. May be other directors can take a cue from him for making movies without machchus, longs which endup in lots of bloodshed meaninglessly.

Chetan (Chetan) is the son of a wealthy businessman Girish Naik (Girish Karnad) is in love with a dance teacher Mallika (Archana Shastry), but Girish Naik doesn’t like this and hires the then don of Bangalore Kotwal Ramachandra(Sharath Lohitashwa) to separate lovers. Kotwal himself is leading a battle for supremacy in Bangalore against the old don Jairaj (Ashish Vidyarthi) who is released from jail after 10 years and is struggling to get back his lost empire. Chetan gets to know of his father’s intentions and in the pretext of getting his lady love, unknowingly falls into the trap of underworld and offers Jairaj to help kill Kotwal. The rest of the story is about how this is achieved with lots of twists, deception, switching loyalties, the police making use of their rivalry to elimante one of the dons, etc., finally ending up in Kotwal’s murder by Chetan and his aides. What is appreciated in all these is that there is hardly any bloodshed unlike other gory underworld and rowdy theme based movies.

Chetan impresses as the hero who can do anything to get his love, but he fails to emote rightly in many sequences. Archana is good and impresses with her innocence and portrayal of a traumatized lover. It is Sharat Lohitashwa who plays Kotwal Ramachandra who steals the show with the right expressions and body language as the don. Ashish Vidyarthi as Jairaj is good. Atul Kulkarni is brilliant as the learned rowdy and impresses with his great mannerisms. Girish Karnad is good as the desparate father who wants his son to forget his love and can do anything to stop him from marrying her.

Agni Sridhar and Girish Karnad’s screenplay is good with some great moments on screen. But the story pace is slow and drags during the second half. The film which has been edited well could have been trimmed by atleast half an hour. Cinematography by H C Venu is good. Ilayaraja’s music is pleasing. Background music is good in parts but it fails to catch up with the high-drama involved.

Chaitanya’s direction is good and he has put lots of efforts to get the best out of everyone in the movie. The authenticity in the looks of the dons and the right look and feel for year 1985 are the highlights. But some minor details like the straightened and colored hair for some characters look out of period. Also are some dress combinations which were not existent in the 80s. But these are minor and go unnoticed due to the way he has presented the story of “Dadagiriya Dinagalu”. He truly shows promise amongst the present young brigand of directors. What is appreciated in Chaitanya’s work is he has presented the movie in a pleasant form with no traces of blood even though it is a rowdy and underworld related movie. This would ensure that even family audience will be drawn towards the theatre.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bhool Bhulaiyya

Bhool Bhulaiyya

You might have seen the original movie Manichitrathaazu in Malayalam and had admired Shobhana (who had won national award for her performance) and Mohan Lal. Decades later you would have seen the same movie in remade in Kannada as Aptamitra wherein Soundarya gave one of her best performances in Kannada with Vishnuvardhan playing the lead. The hit parade continued and the same movie was remade in Tamil and Telugu as Chandramukhi with Rajnikanth playing the lead and Jyotika in the role played by Shobhana in the original. Cut to 2007 and Priyadarshan brings to you the same tale to the Hindi audiences with Bhool Bhulaiyya starring Akshay Kumar, Shiney Ahuja, Vidya Balan, Amisha Patel, Paresh Rawal etc.,

For any south Indian who has watched the movie in their respective state languages, the story of the movie isn’t necessary to be told I believe. But for others here it goes in brief. The film revolves around a small village/town where the people are very conservative and superstitious. Badri (Manoj Joshi) heads a Brahmin family whose ancestral palace is believed to be haunted. One day, Siddharth (Shiny Ahuja) and Avni (Vidya Balan), the son and daughter-in-law of Badri's elder brother return to their native village from
America and decide to settle down for a month in their ancestral palace. Events take on a twist when Avni opens a locked forbidden room. As a result, unnatural events start taking place inside the palace. Badri and Batuk Shankar (Paresh Rawal) try to ward off the evil eye with the help of a priest and a parapsychologist. The blame comes to rest squarely on Radha (Amisha Patel), Badri's adopted daughter. Siddharth brings in his American friend, psychiatrist Dr. Aditya Shrivastav (Akshay Kumar), who uses modern analytical techniques to find out the culprit and solve the mystery.

Interesting inded! Having seen the one of the movies, any person would compare the present one with them. But Priyadarshan doesnt let down anyone. The movie has got the best treatment it could have got. He has given his touch to the movie by putting in comedy which goes very well with the story. He gets the best out of all his comedians in the movie. Paresh Rawal. Rajpal Yadav and Asrani handle the comedy part very well till Akshay’s entry. Once Akshay enters, its fully he who overshadows others with his right timing and punching dialogues. And Priyan has managed the plot well to interlace the comedy tracks with the main track. Shiney has given a good performance as Siddharth. Vidya Balan is pleasant to watch and is good with her acting. She has shown that she isn’t just a one film wonder. Akshay Kumar is at his best with his good timing sense for comedy and emotes well when he has to help out his friend in solving the mystery. Paresh Rawal’s comedy would be remembered for a long time for sure. Rasika Joshi as Paresh’s wife is impressive and evokes lots of laughter with comic sense. Rajpal Yadav is just ok. Amisha Patel has given a controlled performance(!!) Vikram Gokhale as the priest who chips in to help to ward off the ghost is good. Vineeth is good when it comes to classical dancing and he complements well with Vidya in the penultimate climax scene.

Priyan has decided to get away with only three songs in the movie thus not hindering the narration at any point. ‘Labon Pe’, ‘Allah Hafiz’ and ‘Mere Dholna’ are the three songs which come in the movie at the right time. Mere Dholna is a nice classical number with good choreography. Labon Pe is a romantic number and has been shot well. The main attraction – the title track only comes during the titles at the end since it was made for promotion purposes. And that song makes us sit till the credits roll and lights fade off. Music by Pritam is good. Background music by Ranjit Barot haunts at times. S.Thiru has shot the movie well in picturizing the haunted palace with different shades and colors suiting the scenes and the mood. The screenplay is good but it runs a bit slow during the second half.

Priyan again proves that he is good in comedy and does not go overboard anywhere. Though he has changed the story at places to suit the different region of audiences, he succeeds in keeping up the tempo and the suspense.

A good watchable movie for full funny and some scary moments. Watch it for Akshay, Paresh and Vidya Balan's performances. Don’t miss it!! But watch it without comparing with its original and the remakes in other languages.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Chanda (2007)

Chanda - Audio

Starring - Vijay, Shubha Poonja
Music - S. Narayan
Lyrics - S. Narayan
Director - S. Narayan
Producer - S. Narayan

"Kala Samraat" S Narayan is back after the successful "Cheluvina Chittara" with Duniya star Vijay. Here he not only directs the movie but also produces, writes lyrics and composes music also.

Hogonammi sung by Karthik and Chitra is a nice duet to hear with a touch of jaanapada. Karthik has sung the song very well.

Hogu Manase hogu by Chitra is a patho song. Lyrics are good but sometimes the music seems more loud. The male version of the same is song by Madhubalakrishna. His voice reminded me of Yesudas' voice.

Nee Chandaane by Kumar Sanu and Shreya Ghoshal is a lively duet. Its been long time since we heard Kumar Sanu's nasal voice in Kannada. Here he comes again!!! Shreya is just ok. Lyrics are not that good and also they areovershadowed by the loud music.

Savi Savi by Shaan and Chitra has good music and lyrics. Shaan sings the song well with the right feelings but he needs to improve his pronounciation. Chitra is at her usual best. At times this reminded me of Pade Pade Nenapaade from Rama Shyama Bhama.

Yenayto Nangenayto sung by Kunal Ganjawala and Shreya Ghoshal is a good duet. Music in fast pace light up the mood of the song.

Gundene Dyavru sung by L N Shastry is one more gundu number. Great singing by L N Shastry who brings the right drunkard feeling to the song. Would be a nice song to watch.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ee Bandhana - Audio

Ee Bandhana - Audio

Audio Released by Anand Audio
Music : Mano Murthy
Producers : Jai Jagadeesh, Vijayalakshmi Singh
Screenplay-Direction : Vijayalakshmi Singh

One more Vishnuvardhan starrer and a remake (probably) of Big-B starrer "Baghban" with Jayaprada playing Hema Malini's role. It was fully sentimental movie which explored the love, affection and togetherness of an elderly couple who expect that they would be taken care of by their children when they are old and helpless but later realize that they have to lead their life their own way. This they do with the help of their adopted son. The main protagonist of the movie played by Big B in Hindi disowns his own children and decides to stay with his adopted son after they try to woo him once he gets lots of money after publishing his story. Got to wait and see how Dr. Vishnuvardhan does justice to this powerful role. Also Hema Malini had complemented well as his other half. Here we have "mohaka taare" Jayaprada coming together with Vishnu after a long gap (last time we saw them together was in Himapaata and Habba). Though a remake, this script has a great potential to reach our audiences also because of the family values it portrays. Music was a great highlight in the original version. Here we have Mano Murthy!!

Ade Bhoomi Ade Baanu by Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal is melodious with poetic lyrics by Jayant Kaikini. The way Sonu starts the song reminds of Mohamad Rafi. Sonu needs to improve his Kannada pronounciation. Shreya impresses with her alaaps in the second version of the song. This song somehow gives the feeling as if you are listening to a ghazal. Nice melodious song!

Banna Banna by Kunal Ganjawala and Sunidhi Chauhan with lyrics by V Nagendra Prasad. Its a western style duet with lots of beats and guitars used. It is neither fast nor slow paced.

Chanda Nanna Chandramukhi by Udit Narayan and Sadhana Sargam and lyrics by Jayant Kaikini. A duet with good music wherein the elderly couple complement each other in the lyrics. Udit as usual needs a tuition on Kannada pronounciation. Sadhana Sargam is a surprise entry here. Wonder why such a voice as Sadhana's is neglected in Bollywood.

Ugadi Ugadi sung by SPB and Nandita with lyrics by K Kalyan. A celebration song about Ugadi and the various aspects of related with the festival - staying together, loving eachother, facing happiness and sadness with the same mindset etc., Good lyrics, the singers and music have put soul into the song.

Lets Dance sung by Rajesh Krishnan and Chaitra and lyrics by Kaviraj sounds good in the voice of both the singers. Sounds like a party number. Rajesh and Chaitra put life into the song with their unique rendition.

A nice album overall with good music by Mano Murthy.