Follow by Email

Stree: Not Just A Film Review



Not Just Your Regular Stree


I seldom review all the movies that I watch. However, there are few movies that have content as the king and actors as aggregators or just vice -versa where the actor is the king and story a mistress that makes me come out of my shell [time availability offcourse] and review them.  No no, I am not talking about Padman, Padman was a good film in spite of having Akshay Kumar.

I am reviewing the recently launched Stree starring some real actors and a movie that has its heart in all the right places.


The Story

Stree is a story set in the Chanderi town of Madhya Pradesh. The town was haunted by a woman's soul who was mistreated and banished by the towners decades ago. The soul- named as Stree would return every year on the 4 days of annual pooja, to abduct menfolk in the dark of the night. She would often track the men roaming outside their unlabeled house, call them by their names and if they turn back and look into her eyes, it will be recorded as a consent to be taken away by her sans the men's clothes. She would leave their clothes behind as a signature gesture. 

There is a story behind her that you will get to know in the film or the trailers. Why she comes only during the pooja and what she does with those men, is something you should ask the writer or the director who has made this film based on a ridiculously true phenomenon. 

The Genre

The movie is largely a horror comedy film that has all its elements at the right places. It has elements of horror, comedy, satire and overall entertainment. The genre that I liked the most is the satire and the dark humor wherein it is unsafe for the men to go out alone in the nights while the women are safe. The hint that the soul enters only the houses that don't ward her off to come another day [like a certain Bond saying "aayi" another day] abducts unassuming men only after looking into their eyes, hypothetically seeking the consent and then taking off their clothes, ironically. A ghost that is more respectful and gender-aware than the real humans. 

After all, what happens when the men of the country feel unsafe? And with that movie very subtly gives you quite some important message without being preachy or embossing a jwaar bhata stardom showing actors or over the top locations "Chanderi ka ladka romancing in Switzerland wearing Manish Malhotra clothes".

Star Cast

Well, that brings me to the local Manish Malhotra of Chanderi, so "film school mein case study wise" Matlab ki well-played by a very talented Rajkumar Rao. Whose not just appearance or dialogue but whole persona and delivery is synchronized with the character and the story. He is the local darzi "bicky" who is the most stylish young boy in the small town yet not crass as Keshav of Toilet- Ek Prem Katha. And not just him, all other actors in this film, whether it is his two friends played by the very talented Abhishek Banerji's Jana and Aparshakti Kurrana's Bittu, oh what a complete shift from his misfired misadventure "happy phir bhag jayegi" that I saw last week. They both are well-etched characters, without mouthing cheap jokes, any loud gesture but thoroughly entertaining. 

The movie wherein the main lead is a well-demonstrating tailor who is shown technically stitching the cloths. And his stitching is better than some actor's Bengali. Gosh, I have nothing against Akshay Kumar but if you tale ambitious subjects, you need to deliver too.

And the team of Amar Kaushik- Dinesh Vijan- Raj Nidimoru and Krishan DK does that skillfully. 

And then there is the acting powerhouse like- legendary Pankaj Tripathi, Atul Shrivastava, and Vijay Raaz. You wonder if its the dialogue that was written for them or is it their awe-inspiring screen presence. Yes, they are quite a joy to watch.

For that matter, Shraddha Kapoor also is an absolute square peg in this square hole. She is a good fit and does a good delivery. She looks mysterious, Ghoulish, plays the puzzle well without giving away what is not suppose to give and suggesting what she is supposed to suggest. 

So overall, the performances are quite endearing and what I like most about this film is the screenplay. I am no technical champ but as a viewer, I like the way the movie steps from horror to comic to satire to the mystery and plays the loop well unlike some of the last horror comedies that I have seen like Golmal part 4 or that another crass franchise of Grand Masti. Golmaal still was better but had less of horror and more of comedy and drama.

Stree stands out and tall in the genre. It has black comedy, spoof and quite a parody- all the ingredients for a horror comedy. 

Music was tappable and has some nice mixes of songs including a very catchy- Aao kabhi haveli par and an item number featuring a very svelte Nora Fatehi.

The climax and Decoding the Ending

The climax was quite predictable. In spite of all the theories going around Shraddha Kapoor's character being the Stree, it was quite obvious that she is not the one but the ending scene got many confused and eagerly waiting for the sequel.

Oh yes, there were some loopholes in this film too but we can either enjoy a movie or write a thesis. I will give my two pence in next post. 

Nevertheless, I think a sequel is a good idea to reveal the identity of the mysterious Shraddha Kapoor's Van Helsing kind of the character who uses bikki to kill the stree or get the Stree ki choti [women and their fascination with hair] and then saves him, only to do vanishing bus act in broad of the day? Couldn't have waited for the next Bus stop to disappear?

And then the fact that whole of Chanderi knew about Vikki's mother's past profession except the son himself was quite strange. And our Bikki was so love struck that he gets ready to be the Stree ka Dulha but still couldn't ask her mysterious girl friend's name nor ever insists her to tell her details or the place the bus is going. Bikki please...

Numerounity Verdict: Like I said, the movie is a good watch and finding loopholes will only empty your viewing your experience. If you have not watched the film-go watch the movie. It is a bona fide horror and horror not necessarily means a hell lot of gory and dancing skeletons all the time.

Numerounity Rating: 4/5 [esp for subtly bringing that social satire and high-level performances]

_________________

For more reviews, follow my blog.



Happy Phir Bhaag Jayegi


A hot Sardarni horticulture professor lands in China and gets misidentified and abducted by local goons. While the original victim swaps her place accidentally and lands up in the university giving a brief and sweet lecture on Bonsai.

The professor escapes from the goon's clutches, lands in a karaoke bar to have a glass of water and meets an assuming sweet smart Punjabi who incidentally works at Indian embassy, gets the epileptic attack of being Bhagat Singh and croons so badly on Sunny Deol's song that you want to FF the scene and prefer rather watching Deol dance.

And then they meet two strong individuals from India and Pakistan who accompany them all the way from Chinese Porn market to Chinese jail to make a man go to India and apologize to Happy part 2's unhappy bade papa.

In the meantime, original Happy, now happily married to her Guddu, roams freely in China Town meeting the Faq Qu of the worlds.

The twain shall cross the path, finish their Chinese mission, meet and how!


Happy Phir Bhaag Jayegi is as Cliche as it may get. It is like a collage of all probable ingredients to make a film work which gets only desperate but still does not work. Color Yellow Productions, we expect better films from you.

Happy Phir Bhaag Jayegi is a distant cousin of the original Happy Bhaag Jayegi [realeased in 2016 August]. It is not a sequel but is actually a sequel wherein a handful of the characters from the original were retained but the location is changed from Chandigarh errr supposedly Pakistan from the previous version to China in the current stint. Few new characters were added to further up the insipidity of this "stale from the start" film. Phew!

No wonder you may hear almost every critic [who was not paid to appreciate this film] and every viewer say- Afridi and Bagga were the most entertaining part of the film. They are not wrong. The repeat cameo by Jimmy Shergill and Piyush Mishra keeps your sinking experience afloat with their scenes and drop-dead humor. Trust me that's the only humor you will find in this film unless you are still the one who laughs on the crass "all Chinese looks the same" jokes.

Coming to performances, it starts and ends with the mention of Shergil and Mishra. Sonakshi Sinha's Happy was louder than Diana's Happy, and despite his sweet, gentleman role- Jaswant gill fails to impress as other characters in this film. And what the hell APARSHAKTI KHURANA was doing in that caricature gay role?

Music is fewer and passable. And the climax is as creative as the name "Popo carnival". The direction is lackadaisical and the film will do business cause we do not have many choices before Rajkumar rao's Stree releases.

Numerounity Rating: 2.5/5

Very soon the theatre screens may tell the film- Bhaag Happy Bhag!



Sanju: A Damage or Salvage of a Movie?





When I first saw the teaser, I could not wait for the film to release and hear Sanjay Dutt’s approved side of the story and Rajkumar Hirani’s storytelling charm all weaved into Ranbir Kapoor’s awesome sauce performance in the trailer. Notwithstanding my bias for the actor, I could not wait to watch him portray the role of Sanju Baba esp the era when he looked cute as a foxy candy. Alas, I just had nightmares whole through the night.


While I am not debating on the authenticity of the story, even though it failed my mark of credibility. Here are my reasons that why Sanju failed for me.

1) Missing links: A lot of you have pointed that the movie misses many important characters from this film incl his first marriage with Richa Sharma, followed by Rhea Pillai who stood tall with him through his first jail stint. And that is true. There is no inkling of some of the important characters including how he found his current wife. [ A very passable performance by Dia Mirza donning the fake mole]

2) Too Many actors but too less memorable performances: From Boman’s passable Bawa to Zubin Mistry’s “trying hard”, there is quite some cast in the movie but performances do not leave any impact but rather looked juxtaposed. Manisha Koirala as late Nargis Dutt looked beautiful and did justice to the role but for me, Paresh Rawal who in spite of being a great actor somewhere lacked that tenacity, that charm of the very classy Late Sunil Dutt.   Of the actress, Dia Mirza’ was passable and Anushka Sharma was way too theatrics. Surprisingly, it was Sonam Kapoor and her “blink and you miss” role that stood out among the all leading ladies excluding Manisha Koirala. 





Another character that stood out and out was the but of course was the “topless Kamli serving snacks in the hole” played by Vicky Kaushal. He had every moment to deliver a cliché of performance but he "roared" it well.


3) Lazy Screenplay: A over the top confident Dutt who was committing suicide in a scene hitherto, giggling away to flashback mode did not go that well with me. I was looking for more angst, pain and the authentic emotions that the actor may have undergone in the real life.  Overall the story opening and closing at convenient points is not a case of simplifying the content but quite a lazy scripting. Even his bringing “out of box” context did not work this time. Rather say there weren’t any this time. Unlike a signature totem that Hirani has in all his films, from Gandhigiri to the Wrong number to chemical locha, there was none in this film except a very lackadaisical “question mark” that can act as a good debatable point but does not have an endorsement factor with the masses.


4) Culprit than the Victim: To me, it appeared as if the director is enforced to make a sympathetic pitch rather than an empathetic portrayal. Whether it is Dutt’s addiction to the drugs, trauma of losing his beloved mother and love of his life, it all portrayed him as an irresponsible and spoiled son rather than a victim of the situation. for eg: If you have seen Kangana Ranaut’s minuscule portion in Fashion where she deals with heartbreak, career loss, and drug issues, it was a stark portrayal that I am talking about. Here it was all about Ranbir Kapoor trying to portray Sanjay Dutt.

5

5) Passable Music: Ranbir Kapoor played a Drug consuming rockstar in rockstar. If I ask you to recall a top memory from the film, what would it be? For me, it was- “Sadda Haq” and “Nadaan parinde”. That kind of Metamorphosis, the strong linkage with the music is so missing in this movie. The only song that stays and could be aspirational will be- Kar har Maidan fateh!


6) Glorification of LSD: Baring the Mangalasutra scene


Numerounity Review: Overall, Sanju the film is really a big disappointment. The humor in between was stale and did not help as well. Rather than a whitewash portrayal or empathetic storytelling, this film looks more like the PR gone wrong. Wrong Number Mr. Hirani. Maybe now you need to make a film to whitewash your image back. 


Rating: 2/5





The House That BJ Built By Anuja Chauhan


I have heard a lot about Anuja Chauhan and her books. Point in case, her book- Those Pricey Thakur Girls.

Now, it is a well-known fact that I have stopped reading fiction in between and have completely lost my appetite for lengthy readings. Even my casual outings with Business Literature took a long break until I finally grabbed this book.

Having heard a lot about "Those Pricey Thakur Girls" and even bearing a couple of "sitcoms inspired by the book" episodes on a leading channel, I have almost given up on my plan to read that book. It was my insipid wait at the Chennai airport recently that made me sigh in delight seeing one of my fav bookshops- Higginbothams, followed by a walk inside and finally billing this book at the counter that broke my reading sabbatical and, the rest all is epic.

Coming back to the book, I liked the cover, the excerpt and the overall rave reviews about the author. Needless to say, whether it was an intelligent reading or not [we have too much of that] it was indeed a good time-pass and engaging in spite of certain Mills & boons and that typical Indian rom-com treatment at different parts. 

The Book

Title: The House That BJ Built
Publisher: Westland Ltd
Pages: 408
Genre: Rom-com/ Fiction
Price: Rs 350




The Story

Taking its cue from the author's previous book, the story focus on the young Bonu /Bonita, the only surviving daughter of the late Binodini Thakur and her rendezvous including- hobnobbing with her strange tenants at the annex house, running a first copy/ pirated designer garment business, secretly castrating her employee's demeaning husband and sharing a love-hate relation with her dashing, filmmaker step cousin- Samar Singh while deciding to sell the ancestral house or not. 

Add in a dash of her alphabetically named "cows" of aunts and a whole lot of "my jutti won't sell" drama at Hailey's Road. Anuja's Bonu has balls for everything.



My Overall View about the book

The book has a fun, engaging writing that kept me hooked all the time. The story got quite patchy, cliched and predictable at various stages, like a typical Bollywood rom-com. 

Initially, I was little confused wrt the characters. If you too have not read the first book, high chances that you may turn confused too. However, the family tree diagram at the starting of the book comes handy and I kept referring to it several times. 

The book has all the masala ingredients and could be made into a successful Bollywood potboiler provided it is in right hands.

It indeed made me want to pick up another title from the author including the "TPTG". Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Numerounity Rating: 4/5 

PS: If I picked and finished this book that speaks a lot. 

If you like rom-com and easy breezy reading, go for it. I hope if the author had this book in Hindi so many other aspiring writers can read it. 

Numerounity.
________________

For collaborations, email me at hautekutir@gmail.com

Follow Me On Social Media:
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter YouTube | Snapchat [ektakhetan]

DeadPool 2 is Deadly, Madly, Fun

#No Spoiler alert ahead! 

Deadpool 2 is drop dead, mad, filthy yet hilarious watch, with its heart right in place!



What would you expect from a superhero film? Ah! well, let me reframe this- what would you expect from an MCU/ Marvel Superhero film that is released just after the awe-striking Infinity war?

Numerounity's Answer-A CGI filled, a well entertaining superhero film that does not preach you a lot, and worthy of every penny that you spent on the ticket! Yeah ALMOST!

Deadpool 2 is a mad-mad superhero film with an anti-hero who ensures that it doesn't push you to a dark universe, loves dubstep and proclaims that his gory is actually a family film. 

Oh yes, it is a "family film". How? Well, to know more, watch the movie. I bet that will be the best movie you would see this weekend/coming week.

So, what's the story without spoiling it for you? Ummm...

Deadpool is on a mission to DIE and reunite with Vanessa[Morena Baccarin], his ladylove. With a sudden change in the circumstances, he starts making his super-duper fuckin group and recruits some passable characters Bedlam, Shatterstar, Peter, Vanisher and, an impressive Domino [Zazie Beetz] with her incessant probability field.

Then there is Karan Soni's Dopinder who desperately wants to be a superhero himself. Well, that's all you will get on this blog. For the rest of the story, watch the film.

For Those who have not seen Deadpool earlier

Not a big deal if you haven't seen the first movie in the series. The only inference from the first movie is the characters. Let me do a quick run for you-

1) Deadpool AKA Wade Wilson: He is an ex-mercenary and assassin who was detected with a Cancer. To save his life, he resorts to an experimental treatment that turns him into a superpower/superhero mutant who can heal himself at an accelerated superhuman rate from any wound, also making him immune to any disease [almost immortal]. Though he successfully gets healed and saved, his skin turns heavily scarred, like Freddy Krueger.

Not just that, as the programmed patient [that heals him from cancer and gives him superhero status], he turns out to be a superpower slave to the highest bidder.

Deadpool is a highly trained assassin, a great swordsman, and expert in multiple martial art forms. 

2) Sister Margaret and Weasels: Sister Margaret is no nun but it is a bar owned by Weasels, who holds a deadpool wherein his mercenary customers bets as in who among them will die next. This is where Wade Wilson gets his name "deadpool. 

Well, that's all the information you may need if you have not seen Deadpool earlier neither read the X-Men comics.

Yeah Deadpool is an X-men character who does not blink to mock wolverine either. 

Numerounity Review
I didn't grow up to be a superhero fan. Except for my occasional superhero outings, my interests in the MCU universe started ripening from the Avenger's series. Notwithstanding my hunger to re-watch the infinity war, I kind of waited for the Deadpool's release. So when team Budweiser invited me for a special preview on Thursday, I grabbed with both my legs- one real, one semi-mechanical. 

The movie starts on some really gory notes [hold the food and beverage session] but if you can live through those first 5-10 minutes, it moves in a quick pace towards the story [further bloodshed included]. 

Oh there is lot of bloodshed but do not worry there would not be any dark or dull moments in this film cause every time you can sense the movie getting a bit dark, it kinds of raise an invisible fire alarm and the gags starts pouring. 

It is actually a superhero franchise that mocks everything about superheroes, including the lazy writing or over the top CGI fight. I found this quite a smart move. Another smart feature is the opening titles of the movie. Make sure you stay till the end for the end-titles. The end titles were a surprise factor, a la bonus. If I were a movie-maker or had to make a film, I had exactly the same plans to film them. 

Another thing that I liked about the film is its theme wherein a superhero is not trying to save the world. Maybe , it is the superhero trying to save its audience and the genre. Quite a good job in that. let's see what beats this high set of expectations.


Talking about characters, Ryan's deadpool has certain hangovers of Jim carey's Mask, in a superhero garb with an effect of Bugs Bunny.

Cursed with "life" due to his immortality, deadpool brings a tommy gun of humor and keeps the audience engaged.

It is not just the gross, fun but the film is filled with numerous sarcasm, mercilessly thrown on DC, Green lantern, their own franchise and more, with loads of pop culture references. Well, this is the movie that is made for the grown up comic fans. I am not sure if you can take kids for this movie, I would advise not to actually. 

The action is not pasable as lots of action happens during the stunts. There are loads of conversations and engagement during the action sequences. watch out for the scene where the "merc with a mouth" meets the man from the future at the ice-box. 

That brings me to the other cast of the film. Apart from Reynolds, watch out for the Josh Brolin's Cable [yet another time travelled Cyborg atypical of the Xmen series]. A lot of his features though resembles from the comic book character though. His stern, "no explanations given" and strong demeanour which stood out as Thanos, stay very much impressive here as well. I am gonna watch more of his films. Err I would love if there is any rom-com as well :P


Numerounity Verdict

Apart from the over the top violence and beheading, he movie is indeed a fun watch esp for the X-Men fans. A lot of charcters from X-Men comics do come up in this film. Even if you do not know them, that does not affect your viewing experience. 

This may be the set up for the X-Force series, but who cares. For it wraps on high notes and leaves with no "coming soon" mystery messages. BTW, Hugh Jackman's fans, there is something for you too.

Numerounity rating" For all its entertainment value, I rate this movie 4/5/

Next, I have been meaning to watch this movie again. This time probably in Hindi as I really want to see Ranveer Singh [Who would be a perfect cast for a hindi remake ever] or rather hear his dubbed version for Mr. Pool. Any takers? DM me!

My Social Media Channels