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Badla is Trying Too Much!

Critics Review and Badla

When I first saw the trailer, I felt it's going to be a good suspense thriller.

After reading and watching the critics review, I could not wait to watch this film. After all, I love a good suspense thriller.

Alas, Badla is an old coke in a new bottle. I would not say wine for the obvious reason.  



After sharing a stupendous lawyer-client relation in the movie- Pink. It was quite given that this time they might be teaming up together but against each other. I mean how would you justify a title called "Badla" when the trailer suggests that a lawyer with 100% win record is defending a woman accused of killing her lover.

The film starts on a good note. With Amitabh Bachchan trying to assure his client to entrust him with minutest details. You can sense a lot of sharp, across the table, constructive interrogation. And you like the lawyer's straight-jacketed approach. You like the "on your face" confrontation which leads you directly to the film without playing unnecessary to the gallery.

If only, it could sustain that momentum. 

Taapsee Pannu AKA Naina Sethi is unconvincingly a successful businesswoman who is cheating on her husband with a photographer. She looks pretty but seems to be trying too hard as everyone else excluding Amrita Singh. Amrita Singh is a natural charmer and her role of Rani is super expressive and emotive even in the scenes when she doesn't even speak a word. 

Sujoy Ghosh tried to create tension and grip. Alas, it didn't last as much as it did in Kahaani. Kahaani was a tight script. Kahaani 2 was insipid. This movie is another dud. It is like you pay a premium amount to watch Sujoy Ghosh's next film after Kahaani, and you get Kahaani 2. 

All the amazing background score, cinematography and all makes no sense if the storyline is weak. 

I really want to ask director Sujoy Ghosh if he had not heard of CDRs [a permanent in crime Patrol every night] that he had to stretch the story this far from the prosthesis to the synthetic session. And that too when you have the entire inspiration or the original open in front of you to refer. 

The movie is totally based on the Spanish Movie- An invisible Guest [You can find it on Netflix] I am yet to see this film but am pretty sure it would be a better film. 


Do not get fooled by the exotic Glasgow cinematography and the very Hollywood like feel. The trailer looks great but the movie is equally disappointing. 

You may better watch Ting Tey strips to entertain. This one is pseudo suspense. Someone like me after 2 scenes understood the story. There was no suspense. Except for some strong performances by Amitabh Bachchand and Amrita Singh, the film has very less to offer.

Luka Chuppi Movie Review


I paid Rs 500 plus to watch this movie, seating at the front most row, on a Saturday night. Yes, I  really loved the trailer and notwitstanding the critics review I thought if its running full houses must be a good film. 

Was this film worth the price? Well, you have to figure out from my review below.




It is my first film in Ahmedabad, and I went to the biggest mall around- Alpha One. But the seats were so clumsy that they should be removed or people sitting in the first row should be awarded food, drinks, and a pillow, so they can make use of the open space in front of them, kyunki the screen look so distorted from that angle.

It took me a while to adjust and I barely missed anything. 

Do not get carried away with my "pillow statement". The film was not that bad. In fact, it made us keep awake, waiting for the story to takeoff or entertain. Alas, the entire 1st half was wasted in that expectations. And rest of the thrill was killed by the ever useless commercial ads in between. If multiplex owners complain of piracy, they need to be mindful of not playing all those stupid ads during the break. 

Let's back to the review

The Story
Keeping abreast with the ongoing trend of stories in small town genre, the film is based at Mathura and Gwalior. The story is of two consenting lovers who get into a live-in relationship to decide whether they are compatible enough to marry. Who are these characters and whats' their personality is not explained in the film? It's like they just emerge from thin air, start working to bring the plot, execute and go back to their boxes as the pawns. There is little done to build their characters. 

The couple in order to experience the real rigamarole moves into an all furnished house with pickles and quilts, all in mint fresh conditions. Except for one discussion on dividing the duties, any other trace of household life is not seen. The sexual conducts were more hinted than life as usual but well that's how we see the live-in relationship. Don't we?

The film progresses once they decide to get married and move into the guy's parental house.



The Film

The starting is very insipid as if lead actors are trying to hard to fit a bill or unfit it. The first half is dull except for this one scene before the interval.


Comedy looks highly forced into. The gags are not funny even if they are very vyakti vishes or specific to that setting. Unfortunately, it doesn’t humor you, even when I decided to keep my brain outside the PVR box office.

Performances

That goes with stars as well. Karthik Aryan looks trying too hard sans his legendary monologue. His Guddu Shukla sweeps from UP to Bihar to MP but lands nowhere, Kriti Sanon had a better share but guess she did her Bitti better than the Rashmi. She does look pretty in the majority of the frames sans that heavily set hair which may begin to irritate sometime.

Aparshakti is the quintessential "different" friend of the hero, this time a Muslim. He has a very small role but he sails well. His casting is akin to Pankaj Tiwari who is also brought in to salvage the film, adding some humor but in spite of best efforts, sinks.

Pankaj Tripathi is a fab actor who is badly wasted in this film. Wish the director/makers tried to add more layers to add on his character rather than those garish pants and shirts.

Speaking of costumes, I could sense a lot of fashion styling and forced diction. Except for the character actors, the stars couldn’t fare it well.


Songs


Songs were plenty and went well with the story. Though I couldn’t register the songs in the first half, and baring one song do not have recall value of any other song. That one song was Laung Illachi which was again wasted at the wrong place.

Apart from this song, there were many other remixes in this movie, emphasizing the overall lackadaisical approach. 


The film had an interesting storyline but it lacked storytelling. I felt the screenplay should start from Guddu-Rashmi Romance and then building towards Najeem Khan's story and whole of the "live-in" relationship in India Brouhaha. But when the film intends to waste some good opportunities. there is little you can do. One was to trivialize the issue of "live-in" relationship.

The film is based on the premise of local people going against live in relation. But somehow setting that up failed or was not much impact full. For me, a good start enforces good sales in snacks but that too went missing here. As I just wanted to see the 2nd half and rush to the home.

It is not that the film was not funny. There were fewer funny moments. say 2 in the first half. One I mentioned above and the second time when I felt humoured was when a happy Guddu applies face pack before setting for his live-in relationship and a Bollywood Bidai geet playing in the background. Ideally it should have stopped at kitchen but they chose to stretch n dilute it.

Another funny moment was the in-room pheras were the shaadi is halted as the data plan gets over and the house has no wi-fi to offer.


What I Liked

There were a few different things that the makers tried and worked well. They were-

1) The struggle of a live-in couple trying to get married

2) The Middle brother angle wherein Vikas feels traumatized when his younger brother gets married while he is still undesirably single and had to suffer cause his younger brother gets married before him. However, looking at him you see no reason him being single since I was asked to keep brains out, hence.

3) The angst of the elder sister in law who wants her to devar to get married so she gets a helping hand for household chores.



Numerounity Verdicts

I had greater expectations from a movie from the makers of Stree, starring Kartik Aryan and other impeccable actors. I loved the trailer of the film more than the film. Well, this was my unbiased opinion after wtaching this film. Maybe I will like this movie better if watched again. Question is will I watch this film again?

You decide.

Numerounity


The Accidental Prime Minister

Politics and Drama

There is a similarity between politics and movies. They both sacrificing facts over drama and portrayals. 

However, like life, Not all that you portray gets as perceived. Over drama can often lead to loss of credibility. And that holds quite true with the film- The Accidental Prime Minister.

The Accidental Prime Minister is a film based on Sanjaya Baru's Memoir of the same name. The pre-release controversies and the timing when elections are around got the film quite some eye-balls. Smart move!


Plot
The film "aims" to portray ex-PM Manmohan Singh's Tenure in PM office. Especially in words of his political aide and media advisor- Sanjaya Baru. 

I have not read the book, nor was I inside the inner corridors of power to ascertain the truth from the drama. So I will give you a movie review strictly from an entertainment and creative part.

The film is a political drama- highlighting the making of the PM Manmohan Singh and his tenure. It briefly talks about his standing in PMO, his contribution to the nuclear deal etc. However, there is a little story from his side. 


Performances in a not so scripted movie

Anupam Kher played the titular role rather caricaturish-ly. I believe the former PM and economist of his stature deserved better than this. Though the actor mastered the body language quite well, a lot of time you feel that he performing for an animated movie rather than a real movie. The baritone was quite irritating and looked more Disney than the erstwhile PM. 

Akshay Khanna and not Kumar [thank god] played the role of Sanjaya Baru and he played it so well. Baru is a journalist turned media advisor who insists on reporting directly to the PM, and ably sails him through public appearances. His scenes with PM and other ministers were cliches as well as interesting. 

Akshay Khanna played this role to the T. He is confident, intelligent and loyal. He was quite brilliant even in the OTT breaking the 4th wall kind of chatter, a la Kevin Spacey from a house of Cards. He got a stronger character and played it well too. Have you noticed his well-tailored suits and overall fashion style? I did. Besides, I liked the overall styling of his character. 

The good thing about the movie was the caste. Except for Baru, a lot of characters looked exactly like the real-life politicians they played without changing the names. 

Some good performances came from Sussane Burnett as Sonia Gandhi, Arjun Mathur as more intelligent looking Rahul Gandhi. 
Ahana Kumra as Priyanka was a wasted prop for a scene wherein they could have taken anyone and made them wear the wig. Paise bachte aur expectations bhi

The narration was incoherent. The scenes moved from one narration to another without stitching enough details. The writer of this film is the same guy who wrote "Newton" and in spite of having a readily available book, wonder what went wrong when it came to stitching the story. What an opportunity wasted.  Wish someone diligent did this film to give it creative justice. 

The Accidental Prime Minister turned to be less of Manmohan Singh but more of Sanjay Baru, brilliantly essayed by Akshay Khanna. At some parts, the movie was largely emphasizing on the power center. Dude, power centers do exist. And if they don't exist in politics, people will rip them apart. There is a wolf every corner 

The movie ends with "Vote for BJP" propaganda but it serves us right. We as the nation deserves the propaganda we get.
It may not be highly factual but quite a cocktail of fact and drama. The Bollywood way!

Go watch, indeed one -time watch with lots of popcorn [unless u want to hear all dialogues]

The movie succeeded in making me want to read the book. Lenders anyone?


Numerounity Rating: 2.5 out of 5. 

Flip To The Smart Life With the Smart Device

When Khanna Aunty and I discussed technology evolution and #SmartHomeRevolution

I was returning from my morning walk when I saw Khanna Aunty waving at me.

I waved back at her and said- long time, Aunty. Mom told that you have gone to Dubai for the holidays? How was your trip?

Khanna Aunty: [sigh] It was a good trip but ended so bad.

I: "What happened Aunty, you look/sound so miserable. So unlikely the cheerful you".

Khanna Aunty: What to tell you beta, I spent 3 lakhs INR for this trip. Such a beautiful place, total Instagram made. Can't tell you such lovely pics I took there on that Rs 50,000 Camera that My Guddi [daughter] bought from the USA. I thought of coming back and uploading them all on my Facebook. But someone stole my camera bag. Money toh I lost but along with it, all my lovely photos, diary and two CD of song collection also gone. 

Now what will I upload on my facebook and how will I make neighborhood Chadda Aunty feel jealous. Sigh!

I: Oh no! That's really unfortunate. Did you not kept any backup of the pics? like on the cloud or your phone?

Khanna Aunty: Back up? Yeh cloud ki honda hai? [what is this backup?] How can I keep my photos on the cloud and what if it rains?

I: Aunty not that sky wala cloud but smartphone cloud.

Khanna Aunty: Arre Betaji, we are old generation people, we know the only camera. And since I am ahem, smarter than other women of my generation, I just learned using a DSLR camera. But baap re, it was so heavy. I had to do so much weight lifting but I thought at least I will get good pics to burn these Chadda, Chopda, and the Khurranas in envy. So I made your uncle to carry the camera in one hand and hold me on the other hand for support. 

I: That's so romantic, Aunty!

Khanna Aunty: Arre no romantic-shomantic beta! Your uncle is so unromantic. That Miracle garden was so beautiful. I said- beautiful flowers, let's do Titanic wallah pose but he replied- let's buy flower seeds from here. What Romantic? Huh! Hand in Hand because I asked him to hold me for support as I am not so used to walking a lot and my knees gave up during the trip. 

I: Ohh! Hope your knees are fine now, Aunty. Did you see the doctor?

Khanna Aunty: Doctor ko consult Kiya. He gave so many medicines, saying my muscles are loose and asked me to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. Who will tell them whether I will do my work or count every step?  It's not practical, no?

Plus, we eat such a high quality, organic Punjabi food. And Punjabi Muscles are like Milkha Singh, they never deteriorate.

I: Aunty the muscle deteriorates because of aging and lack of appropriate physical activities. Even Milkha Singh does workouts to get fit

Khanna Aunty: Hai Mere Rabba, So now I have to wear boxer pants and do pushups?

I: [Chuckling] No Aunty. Walking is good to start with. However, casual walking at home does not count much and you need to go for proper walks. And who told you to count your steps, manually? There are so many pedometer type apps on a smartphone these days, download one and activate once you walk. It will automatically count the steps.

Khanna Aunty: Aye-Hai. That means I have to keep my mobile all the time in my hand?

I: In that case, aunty pl go for a fitness band.

Khanna Aunty: Hai Betaji, I am such a delicate woman, how many devices can I carry with me? One mobile, one fitness band, house keys, small purse in case I want to have some pani puris on way, earplugs. Can't carry so man things. What if I forget?

I: Go for a Smartwatch then. It will not just keep a tab of your steps but will sync with your smartphone for other uses like heart health, you can pick your calls from the watch. It is easy to use and look very stylish too. Something that will suit your enviable personality. ahem!

[This Made Khanna Aunty's big eyes twinkle]

And Auntyji, do buy a nice smartphone with good camera quality so you do not have to carry an additional DSLR on your trip and can save your pictures on direct Google/iTunes sync-in even if you lose your phone.

[Now I can see Khanna Aunty eyes going wide. She planned to surprise Khanna uncle with secret candlelight this evening, so he is pleased enough to do all the heavy market visits and bring all these things for Aunty.]

At this moment I told Aunty how candle-light is not eco-friendly and will cause her lot of mess. Instead, she can opt for Smart Lights solution wherein in one click of a button, she can switch the entire mood lighting on and set up the ambiance.

Khanna Aunty: But Beta, how will I go to market alone? My knees are still painful and buying so many things means I have to go from shop to shop and counter to counter. Besides, I do not have enough cash with me now. Have to wait till your uncle comes. And what if he doesn't like the product after coming home?  Going back and asking to return/refund is a huge mess na?

I: Arre Apna Flipkart hai na. Why you need to go market and search from shops to shops. Just download the app on your smartphone, browse and pick from the wide variety and different price range. You can go through customer reviews also and if you do not like the product or found it faulty, they have a door pickup and a replacement policy.

And for payment, go for "Cash on Delivery".

It is called "Smart way of shopping".

Khanna Aunty: Wow! so many smart features but online shopping would be expensive na?

I: On the contrary, Aunty. Online shopping is smart shopping and is often cheaper. And have frequent sales ongoing too.

Khanna Aunty: Hai! They sell everything? Music CDs also?

I: Why you need Music CDs, aunty, when you have Smart Home products that will play music on your demand, answer your questions and switch on/off the lights also for you.

Khanna Aunty: Yeh Flipkart hai ya Google hai? It has everything I need it seems. from Smart Phone to Smart Lights to Smart Wearables.

I: Click Smart life with Flipkart aunty!

Khanna Aunty: Waah-waah! Betaji, take my phone and Jaldi se download the app. I will order everything today so I can organize a "Smart Kitty Party" at my house next week. Need to show my Smart products to these Mrs. Chaddas, Chopdas, and Khurranas. Next club election, club secretary, I only have to become.



I: Haha sure aunty. But first, you order your Smart Wearable and get to fitness mode. Smart evolution begins from Home.

Khanna aunty: Yes betaji but not homes, "Smart Homes".





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Well, Khanna Aunty is going to follow and share the #SmartHomeRevolution with all her friends. How about you?

Sincerely,
Ekta
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My Top 6 Bollywood Films of 2018

I am movie buff and I love watching Hindi films. Before 2018 becomes a forgotten reality, here's my list of some unforgetful films of the year.



These films have all the right chords including-

1) Good storyline
2) Entertainment quotient
3) Performances
4) High Recall value

The list is purely personal and dominated largely by the films that I have seen. and the films that I have not seen were not compelling enough to be seen. Here's presenting my top favorite films of 2018 and why they deserve to be there.


1) October
It was not your regular Hindi film. However, it was a film that's worth being made any kind of benchmark for many filmmakers. October was the unusual story of usual life. Life of a young fancy intern that meets with an accident and changes completely.  It had Varun Dhawan's one of the best performances till date.
  
I really hope that more of such films are made here.



2) Badhai ho
A small budget film with a big entertainment quotient. The film was about a senior couple becoming parents again, accidentally. Their subtle old-world romance and the brouhaha that followed including the family's reaction was less preachy and more entertaining. The movie had all- Story, performances, humor, message, songs etc The movie's cast was the hero. Esp the aging couple- Neena Gupta and Gaj Rao, and the dadi so beautifully played by Surekha Sikri.

It was clearly an Ayushman Khurana year And so well deserved. 



3) Patakha: 
An unusual story of two warring sisters who can't live without each other. Often termed as India Pakistan, the sister's world was rocked brilliantly by their friend Dipper, brilliantly played by Sunil Grover. The village based movie had authentic Rajasthan and Harayanavi touch that totally transports you to the screenplay wherein actors are the characters and not the Khans and Kumar.

This Vishal Bharadwaj movie is one of his finest work, much better than duds like Haider etc. Indeed worth watching! And I wonder why it was so ignored.


4) Stree

Stree was one of the best horror or even horror comedy Indian cinema had so far. The film so beautifully weaved the story, characters, conversations and a clear-cut agenda of real feminism. The story set in Chanderi Village had an awesome performance by the very talented Rajkumar Rao.
The film very well chalks out the importance of consent and has an intriguing end that made people talk about the film even today.




5) Andhadhun
What a madcap thriller it was. A true, edge of the seat thriller. Andhadhun is a story of a blind pianist who is not actually blind but turns out to be one. Watch it for "what next" kind of suspense and the beautiful performance by Tabu, followed by Ayushman Khurana.

It was clearly an Ayushman Khurana year And so well deserved. However, it is Tabu who steals the thunder and how. 


6) Raazi
It was a spy thriller that was such a mature, subtle patriotism redefined. I would call it a mature movie, almost unbiased. The ending left me poignant and depressed. I dunno what upset me more- the reality/smallness of our lives or the animosity between countries that see no rhyme and no reason?




Well, these were my top 6 films of the year. There were other films that I enjoyed watching and worth a mention/watch are-Mukkabaaz, Mitron, Padman, Batti Gul Meter Chalu and 102 not out.

I would have loved to add Sonu ke Titu ki Sweety but the OTT misogynist approach of the franchise is highly repulsive and I am sorry but I don't call that OTT fun!

Let me know if you have any favorite film of this year.

Love,
Ekta for Numerounity
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