Sunday, May 25, 2008

Jannat Review


The Bhatts never run out of stories. In their new outing Jannat, Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt have yet another new story to tell. This time, it's all about match fixing and bookies. But wait! It would be erroneous to classify Jannat as a cricket-centric film. Cricket is just the wallpaper here. The focus is on the love story, like Gangster which was, at heart, a love story.
What catches you by complete surprise is the fact that Jannat has been helmed by a debutante director [Kunal Deshmukh] and penned by, again, a debutante wordsmith [story: Vishesh Bhatt; screenplay Kunal Deshmukh and Vishesh Bhatt]. You're surprised at the level of maturity, the command over the craft, the display of confidence in their very first outing.
Honestly, you don't take to Jannat instantly. The initial portions - the love story - are strictly chalta hai stuff. But the best part is, Jannat takes a step forward every 10 minutes. The film actually takes off when the characters reach Cape Town, South Africa. The portions thereafter are akin to a roller coater ride.
Right from the interval point to a hair-raising, pulse-pounding climax, Jannat is another journey altogether. The end, especially, hits you like a ton of bricks [it wouldn't be right to reveal what happens to the characters].
You can't imagine Jannat without Emraan Hashmi. Right from his debut film Footpath to Jannat, the actor has only grown with the passage of time. The actor displays the gamut of emotions with aplomb, he changes expressions like a chameleon changes colours. Jannat is yet another turning point in his career.
In a nutshell, Jannat is one of the finest films to come out of Vishesh Films. Not to be missed! Arjun [Emraan Hashmi] is a reckless young man with an obsession for making money at card games. A chance meeting with a girl in a mall, Zoya [Sonal Chauhan], gives him the reasons he was looking for to move out of his ordinary life. He steps up from playing small-time card games to becoming a bookie.
Stuck in a triangle of sorts between the woman he loves and his addiction to make a quick buck, Arjun steps into the world of match fixing. But his dizzy rise attracts the attention of the police [Samir Kochar].
Arjun has to now choose between Zoya and this new-found success and power. As Arjun struggles to choose between the two, the Don [Jawed Sheikh] offers the forbidden apple of limitless wealth in exchange of his soul and draws him into his core entourage of money spinners.
You may not be a cricket fan, but it's not difficult to decipher Jannat. In fact, the makers have refrained from using any technical jargon in the movie. Portions depicting match fixing and Emraan's interaction with the cricketers are, in fact, amongst the high points of the film. The speed at which Jannat unfolds and most importantly, the turn of events is the hallmark of this enterprise.
Vishesh Films has an eye for talent and this time the prolific production house pulls up two more aces - director Kunal Deshmukh and writer Vishesh Bhatt. Kunal is a storyteller to watch out for. In the past decade, the Bhatts have nurtured several talents, prominent among them being Anurag Basu and Mohit Suri. Now add Kunal Deshmukh to the list. If you understand cinema, you'd realize that every sequence in Jannat is not only well-shot, but there's meat in those scenes too.
Vishesh Bhatt's writing is dew-fresh and doesn't take the tried and tested route. Note the intermission point or the twists in the second hour as also the climax, the writer's contribution looms large in those portions. Pritam's music is lilting. The film has a hit score, but you'd like to single out two numbers - 'Zara Sa' and 'Jannat Jahan' - for the sheer melody.
Manoj Soni's cinematography is first-rate. The stunning locales of Cape Town are filmed exquisitely. Sanjay Masoom's dialogues are excellent. A few dialogues, in fact, are refreshing to the ears. Background score [Raju Singh] is top notch.
You can't visualize Jannat without Emraan Hashmi. If you loved him in Murder, Gangster and Awarapan, you'd place his performance in Jannat in the same league. Note the naughty streak as also the helplessness [at the interval point and towards the end]. An incredible performance indeed!
Sonal Chauhan looks pretty and though she's passable in the initial portions, she gets into the groove eventually. This girl has the potential. Jawed Sheikh is brilliant. This is his finest work so far. Samir Kochar is excellent. Vishal Malhotra is good. Shakeel Khan does very well. Abhimanyu Singh is competent. Vipin Sharma leaves a mark in a brief role.
On the whole, Jannat is a well-made film with lilting music, gripping script and excellent performances as its mainstay. Coupled with an absorbing second hour and a brilliant climax, the film has all it takes to prove a success story in times to come. Its solo release coupled with good hype should overcome the strong opposition [IPL].

Friday, May 16, 2008

Emraan says Jannat is not Two For The Money


Even before Jannat has arrived on the screen, a section of media has already started speculating about it's Hollywood source. Traditionally, films coming from the house of Vishesh Films have always sought inspiration from West (or East) due to which Jannat too is not being spared. There have been murmurs about the film being an alleged rehash of Hollywood flick Two For The Money (2005) that starred Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey.

Reacts Emraan Hashmi with a shocked expression, "Which is this movie Two For The Money' Isn't it the film about a bookie and his mentor and the conflicts they face in the course of their business? Sorry to disappoint those who believe they have managed to crack the code but by no means is Jannat remotely similar to Two For The Money."

Settling down from the initial shock, Emraan goes on to explain, "Jannat deals with a different aspect altogether. Time and again we have tried to tell through the promotion of our film that Jannat is not just about bookies and betting. This is a story about a young couple where the guy is a go getter and wants to give his girl everything that she desires. For that he is even willing to do through an illegal route."

Explaining the psyche of the character he plays, he defends, "This guy feels that when everyone out there in the world of cricket, whether he is an entrepreneur, media baron or a product launcher is going and making money with the help of the sport, why shouldn't a bookie too have his share of pie."

"He has his own way of reasoning too", jokes Emraan, "He feels that when a government can get away after 'hera-pheri' of millions in the arms deals, then what's the harm in a little bit of cheating in something as harmless as the game of cricket. Of course, the girl doesn't feel the same way since she is happy living a simple life. In the end, the guy has to decide whether money actually means everything in life or there is something more that he needs to find his 'Jannat'."

Kunal Deshmukh, director of Jannat, is more relaxed though in his defense for the film, "Nahi nahi, Jannat and Two For The Money are not connected in any means. In any case, I didn't want to copy a film at all. I didn't want to start off as a filmmaker who looked at lifting screenplays from other films. I guess I have enough potential to make a film of my own and don't have to resort to being a DVD filmmaker."

Friday, May 9, 2008

Ajay keeps distance from Kajol


Ajay Devgan and Kajol are perhaps the most ideal couple in Bollywood. At least their fans think so. They are an epitome of a happy and peaceful family, and many look up to them when love fades. But is there trouble in heaven?
Rumourmongers have turned sceptic again. It is said that Ajay did not care to console Kajol when she broke down during the television reality show Rock N Roll Family. The news is doing the rounds that Ajay was a silent spectator while Tanuja consoled her crying daughter.
Ajay admitted that his wife broke down on the sets of the show. He added that she has been crying very often ever since her dad Shomu Mukherjee passed away on April 10 this year.
The couple is currently judging the show Rock N Roll Family along with Kajol's mother Tanuja. They are blessed with a daughter named Nysa. Let's hope they stick together through the good and bad times!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Priyanka Chopra gets pregnant


After a bountiful 2006 (Krrish and Don), last year was quite downbeat for top Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra with films like Salaam-E-Ishq and Big Brother failing at the ticket window. To add to that, she was away from the limelight or as they say, out of circulation! But that had more to do with her personal and legal problems related to the differences with her ex-secretary, Prakash Jaju.

However, there is good news for the fans of Priyanka Chopra as the current year is sure to set the record straight. With projects like Goldie Behl's Drona, Harry Baweja's Love Story 2050 and Madhur Bhandarkar's Fashion, the future appears bright and it seems that Priyanka is all set to regain her top position.

Coming to Bhandarkar's (famous for cashing in on topical subjects) Fashion, the film is already hogging the headlines. The reason for the above is Priyanka's controversial pregnancy scene in the climax. The said scene is deliberately being publicized as being inspired from the real life of a top model, but that is only a publicity stunt. One has to commend Priyanka for going public with the fact that the said scene is of utmost importance to Fashion's climax and is not based on anyone's personal life.

The girl indeed has guts. Kudos and all the best to you Priyanka!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Upcoming Movies


Tasveer

Cast:
Akshay Kumar
Ayesha Takia
Vinod Khanna
Sharmila Tagore
Javed Jaffrey
Anant Mahadevan

Directed By: Nagesh Kukunoor

Production house: Percept Picture Company & T-Series

Music Director: Pritam

Music label: T-Series

Lyrics: Sameer

Upcoming Movies


Singh is Kinng

Cast :
Akshay Kumar
Katrina Kaif
Neha Dhupia
Javed Jaffrey
Kiron Kher
Ranvir Shorey
Om Puri
Sonu Sood

Directed by: Anees Bazmee

Produced by: Vipul Amrutlal Shah

Distributed by: Adlabs

Music Director: Pritam

The film is scheduled to be released on August 8, 2008.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Madhavan replaces Arshad Warsi in Teen Patti


A big excitement awaits Madhavan. "I'm finally going to work with Mr. Bachchan. It has been a long-cherished dream. When he did a guest appearance with me in Ramji Londonwale I couldn't stand straight, I was so nervous and excited. Now we're finally coming together in Leena Yadav's Teen Patti. And all thanks to Arshad Warsi," jokes Maddy about Arshad's unceremonious exit from the project.

Maddy will have to learn to play cards for his gambler's role. "I've never played cards before. So I'll have to start from scratch. At the moment, I've plenty of time to learn stationary skills. I've just had a painful molar extraction done. I can't go out and can't talk much either. In fact I'm surprised the producers of Teen Patti signed me with this swollen face."

Maddy goes into Teen Patti at year-end. Right now, he starts work on the Tamil version of Aziz Mirza's Yes Boss where he steps into Shahrukh Khan's shoes. "Nishikant Kamat who directed me in the Tamil version of Dombivali Fast and in Mumbai Meri Jaan put me in touch with the working-class side of my personality. Now I need to get back to playing super-heroic parts. Otherwise my audience in Tamil Nadu will think I've mellowed down incurably."