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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.

  • 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]
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Glorification of LSD: Baring the Mangalasutra scene

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. 


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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!

102 Not Out : Five Reasons You Need to Watch This Movie

"102 Not Out is an engaging, entertaining and heartfelt movie. The film is what Indian Cinema should be, well scripted and well executed" 

Two elderly men, living a woman-less life at Mumbai suburban will teach you the art of living easier than any other class can teach in a 2 and a half hour duration. Well, that is how I would sum up this Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor and HMV Caravan starrer comic drama.

The movie starts on a great note, carefully and smartly introducing the characters alongside the cityscape. 

I loved the art, the caricature and all things including the Saregama Caravan [that I have been planning to buy for my mom since the launch] playing one of my all time fav- Mere ghar aana zindagi. 

102 not out is not a boring but a well entertaining film that will make you laugh and cry at the same time. It has its own shades of grey like a "black and white" opportunist son but then those spots are very feeble in front of this heart touching story.

My review can go on and on but as promised, here are my top 5 reasons as to why you need to watch this film if you have not already.

5 Reasons You Should Not Miss "102 Not Out"

1) The Story: It is a story of a centenarian father [A Bachchan] and his 70+year-old son [R Kapoor], staying at their posh yet lonely house in Vile Parle with a good company of a local chemist boy, playing their Man-Friday. The father in a bid to outperform the record of the longest alive man plans to stay away from all thing dull, boring and negative including his 70 plus-years old son. 

The unique concept of a father sending his son to an "old age home" is quite interesting and you can see the eyeballs it raised amongst the cine-goers. A very relevant plot- old age battling the empty nest syndrome, a son so driven by his own needs that he fails to see the loneliness and exclusion of the hands that raised him.

2) Wonderful Acting: To think of it, the film has just 3 main characters and all 3 of them have done a marvelous job. The actors whether it is Mr. Bachchan's Dattatray or Rishi Kapoor's Babulal or Jimit's Dheeru, they look their characters and plays it well too. 

Amitabh Bachchan is a universally accepted legend. But Rishi Kapoor in this movie, in his Ducky act is a delight to watch. watch his varied expression from the shower and the moment when he is being sent to an old-age home by his father. 

3) Soulful Music: The film has few but relevant songs including one of my old favorite- Mere Ghar aana zindagi [Bhupinder Singh- Dooriyan] and the zesty- bachche ki jaan loge kya. The song does not break the flow of the movie and acts as a good prop

4) Entertaining Engagement rather than Dull Preaching: I liked the fun touch of the film. The story is the hero and the execution is engaging and not depressing. While the plot was obvious from the beginning, I did not feel any dull moment during the film no matter what few critics say.

One of my fav scenes from the movie is when Dattatray asks Babulal to cut ducks out of his favorite Kashmiri shawl. Watch the film to know more. 

5) The Message: the movie shares an unmissable message, the importance of self -sufficiency, the importance of being happy. The treatment is meaningful and inexpensive. I love the conditions that the father throws at his son- the simple yet meaningful terms that need not be expensive or thrifting.

It is also an important message that needs to be given to the children who in the throe of their ambition or personal preferences, chase their parents away only for material means. It is for all of us including our aging parents who need to outgrow their blind love towards their children and give their life a fresh lease and joy.

Numerounity Verdict: My suggestion, do not go with senseless criticism that you may read about the actors or script. They are like an unnecessary regression to color your engagement and pulling you back from a heartfelt engagement. Films like 102 Not Out need not be criticized but welcome with open hands and an open mind. A good job is done- the writers [including the original] and Umesh Shukla. We look forward to your next stint.

102 not out is what cinema should be- engaging, entertaining and heart touching. 

Numerounity Rating: For the subject, the light heartfelt treatment, I give this movie a straight 4.5 star out of 5. 

Let's Try Palindrome

What is the point of blogging if it does not teach you a new thing? And learning is never easy, never too comfortable. Like a palindrome.

So, let me confess that I have never written a Palindrome. Whoa! whats a Palindrome? A palindrome is a form of writing, rather a poem that you can read backward too. Like LOL, Civic, Wow etc...

So my friends at The Real Toad prompted me to try writing a Palindrome today. So here we go. With my poem- Pen or Perish! read on-

Pen or Perish!

I told myself
Time to reinvent,
let's try something.

Pen my Pen,
will you
pain, sorrow, glory, joy
word pour,
a no contempt,
a new challenge,
I gave,
to self!


So you can read it as-

Perish or Pen

To self,
I gave,
a new challenge,
a no contempt,
word pour
pain, sorrow, glory, joy
will you

Pen my Pen,
let's try something.
Time to reinvent,
I told myself

Yay or Nay?

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