Monthly Archives: August 2021

Chehre Movie Review: Amitabh Bachchan, Emraan Hashmi thriller is not without loose ends

Chehre Movie Review: Amitabh Bachchan, Emraan Hashmi film is a righteous fight of black vs white. But it is not necessarily right.

Movie Name: Chehre
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Emraan Hashmi, Annu Kapoor, Raghubir Yadav
Director: Rumi Jafry

Brilliantly twisted minds have always been a thing of intrigue in literature, pop culture and cinema. Which is why we have woven stories around Sherlock Holmes or the homegrown Feluda. The thrill of knowing the unknown through observation and logic is unparalleled. Feluda dubbed it ‘mogojastro’ or the mind weapon. Those who have it flaunt it, the rest of us marvel and watch them – spellbound – solve mysteries. Rumi Jafry intended the Amitabh Bachchan, Emraan Hashmi, Raghubir Yadav, Annu Kapoor and Rhea Chakraborty-starrer Chehre to be that.

The trailer gave us a just idea of what to expect. On paper, it is so gripping that you watch like a hawk everything that unfolds on screen. For the most part. And then you also start noticing that while Rumi has managed to tightly knit the narrative together, by the end he’s run out of yarn, and we’re left yearning for something more, something better.

Sameer Mehra (Emraan Hashmi) happens to luckily bump into Paramjeet Singh Bhuller (Annu Kapoor) exactly when his car gives up after a freak accident he just escaped. Heavy snow in an uninhabited nook in the hills leaves him no choice but to accept Singh’s offer and walk up to Jagdish Acharya’s (Dhritiman Chatterjee) house. He meets their other friends Hariya Jatav (Raghubir Yadav) and Lateef Zaidi (Amitabh Bachchan). Four friends who have all their lives been attached to the Indian judicial system in varying capacities, and are now retired, spend their last few days conducting mock trials as fun post-dinner games. After much cajoling, and some unnecessary younger generation vs older generation talks, Sameer agrees to partake in tonight’s game as the accused. He is confident that he is a clean man and therefore prosecutor Zaidi will find nothing against him, Singh as his defence will be able to ably defend him, and judge Acharya will pronounce him innocent. And then the skeletons come tumbling out.

Chehre’s biggest flaw is that it positions the trinity of Zaidi, Singh and Acharya as somewhat of the Justice League – pun intended – fighting to punish the wrong, without any real motive. Sans the trappings of the judiciary of the real world, in this microcosm, the law is absolute. The righteousness in the script is black and white, much like the uniform these men have donned all their lives. Yet, in order to let the truth triumph, they are willing to resort to wily ways – searching through Sameer’s car and his phone without his permission – and solidify their suspicion. Even then, the story could have seemed plausible if the accused Sameer was in any way tied to either of their pasts – a case they worked on together but the culprit slipped away or an incident that ties them with Sameer which gives them knowledge of the truth and they’re simply working their way backwards. Anna (Rhea Chakraborty), as the pretty, young house help who is more like the daughter, and Joe (Siddhanth Kapoor), the mute Man Friday who is more of a friend, does provide that scope. But writers Rumi Jafry and Ranjit Kapoor do not take that bait. And in the end, we’re left with a story that hinges on law and the justice system, without giving us motive, the first thing law asks.

Behind the questionable hairdo bestowed upon Raghubir Yadav and Amitabh Bachchan, the performances by each of them is flawless. Dhritiman Chatterjee and Emraan Hashmi remain understated, allowing Amitabh to be the overdramatic prosecutor, overaccentuating here, sniggering there. Annu Kapoor strikes a fine balance there. Watching the four stalwarts feeding off each other’s years of acting experience is astounding and a masterclass in acting itself. Rhea gets an okayish role and she does it fine-ish. Krystle D’Souza’s Natasha Oberoi gets some meat and she sinks her teeth into the character. Siddhant gets a raw deal, and we wish to see him in better roles going forward. Chehre also stars Samir Soni in a cameo.

In the penultimate scenes of Chehre, Amitabh Bachchan is given a freakishly long monologue, which may have been Rumi Jafry’s proclamation of love for that deep baritone – and we love it too – but it is the film’s final undoing.

Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif off to Russia for Tiger 3 shoot?

Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif have set off for Russia to shoot Tiger 3, our source reveals. The film is directed by Maneesh Sharma.

Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif are ready to shoot some high-octane action sequences for Tiger 3 in Russia. The actors are off to begin the film’s international shoot schedule. In the Maneesh Sharma directorial venture, Salman will be seen reprising his role of Tiger, while Katrina will be seen as Zoya once again. Emraan Hashmi will be seen playing the antagonist in Tiger 3.

A month ago, Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif resumed shooting Tiger 3. Now, the stars are all set to begin the international leg of the film’s shoot schedule. According to our source, Salman and Katrina are off to Russia.

Earlier, a source had revealed that Aditya Chopra, whose Yash Raj Films is producing Tiger 3, has arranged for the cast and crew of the film to fly to the international locations in a jet. This is a measure keeping Covid-19 protocols in mind. Giving details of the schedule, the source had said, “YRF is chartering everyone including Salman, Katrina, director Maneesh Sharma, the entire cast and crew for this intense international leg that will see the team pull off some spectacular shooting schedules. Team Tiger takes off on August 18. The direction team under Maneesh has prepped for months for this schedule and Aditya Chopra is clear that the shoot needs to happen smoothly.”

The source further revealed the destinations where Salman Khan and Katrina kaif will shoot Tiger 3. “Salman and Katrina will land in Russia first and then head to multiple shooting destinations like Turkey and Austria. Aditya Chopra and Maneesh Sharma didn’t want to compromise on the scale of the film despite the pandemic and they have planned Tiger 3 to be a visually spectacular theatrical experience. Thus, this schedule will add a lot to the film’s visual extravaganza and some never-seen-before action sequences will be filmed,” the source added.

Tiger 3 is the highly-anticipated third instalment in Salman Khan’s superhit Tiger franchise. The first film, titled Ek Tha Tiger, was directed by Kabir Khan. The spy thriller released in 2012 and was loved by fans. Its sequel, Tiger Zinda Hai, released in 2017. Now, Salman Khan will return with some great action as RAW agent Tiger in Tiger 3. Katrina Kaif will reprise her role as ISI agent Zoya, while Emraan Hashmi will essay the negative role of an ISI agent.

Salman and Katrina last shared screen space in 2019 in Ali Abbas Zafar’s Bharat.

Bell Bottom Movie Review: Swashbuckler Akshay Kumar saves India and theatres once again

Bell Bottom Movie Review: Akshay Kumar is on a mission – to pull the audience back into the theatres.

Movie Name: Bell Bottom
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta, Huma Qureshi
Director: Ranjit Tewari

It is simple protocol that RAW agents have to be known by a code name, in order, of course, to keep their identity a secret. Akshay Kumar’s Anshul instinctively opts for ‘Bell Bottom’ during his training. He is literally thrust into RAW, at a time when India is grappling with back-to-back hijacks, the inevitable hostage negotiations that follow and the ultimate freeing of captured terrorists along with crores of money to ensure no lives are lost. It is the 80s, Indira Gandhi (played by Lara Dutta) holds the Prime Ministers’s chair, with her trusted aide, RN Kao (Denzil Smith) by her side.

Akshay Kumar has flair. And sometimes a bit extra too. Even though Anshul wasn’t meant for or didn’t intend to come into this line of work, he seamlessly fits right in. Director Ranjit Tewari (of Lucknow Central fame), however, doesn’t go full out sprinkling the trademark Akki charm on us; he tries hard to keep the flamboyance of Akshay, the actor, and buoyancy of Akshay’s gait – swishing the hem of his extra-flared bell-bottoms – in check. Which is why perhaps the only whistle-worthy dialogue in the film – something about a dog, daddy and RAW – was given to Adil Hussain, to be delivered in his deadpan humour. This bottom-of-the-barrel dialogue, however, should have been entirely avoided. But a Bollywood masala movie director can do only so much; ultimately the slow-motion shots take over.

The first half of the film is spent in establishing the premise, laboriously, if you may. Anshul is given a backstory to justify he has vested interest in cracking the hijacking case at hand, and isn’t doing so simply for the country. Vaani Kapoor and Akshay even get a song – Marjaawan – the only one that makes it to the screen, apart from Tum Aaogey at the very end, to establish his earnestness. In the process, the actual mission of freeing the hijacked hostages is pushed (read cramped) to the second half.

Pakistan is still the enemy in 1983 – not much has changed between 1971 in Bhuj The Pride Of India and 1999 in Shershaah. A master move sends Pakistan into a frenzy. If only Indo-Pak relations, the hijackings, and international affairs were that simple.

Anshul has a plan, and then a backup and then a backup ka bhi backup because mummy kehti thi. And thus we have about 20 minutes of adrenaline-pumping suspense, hand-to-hand combat, but no bloodshed because Dubai ki mitti mein khoon nahi baha sakte. Like the crease of those crisp bell-bottoms Akshay dons, everything falls into place in a straight line. Even those that don’t, are so predictable that you see it coming like the Indian Airlines Flight 405 – one of the many hijacks this inspired-by-true-events (for example, the IC 814 hijacking) film borrows from.

Akshay can pull off such roles while he is parkouring from buildings. No surprises there. Adil and Lara do their job well, although Lara’s team of make-up artists deserve applause. Denzil remains a mute spectator throughout, save one dialogue about RAW’s honour. Vaani and Huma Qureshi, have very little screen time, but even in that, while Vaani gets a song, Huma gets a fight scene. Win-win. Zain Khan Durrani is excellent in his role. Unlike most films that portray such characters as loud, expletive-mouthing jihadis, Zain chooses to play the character subtly, letting his evil shine through his quiet eyes. It is, however, slightly heartbreaking to see him like this after the poetic Alfaaz in Onir’s Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz. But, kudos to the actor.

Finally, is it entertaining? Yes, as much as any Akshay Kumar film. Add to that the thrill of watching a film in theatres after what seems like an eternity and 3D-viewing, and you have a winner. Ultimately, we’re just happy that we’re a step closer to being business as usual at the movies.

Taapsee Pannu’s Rashmi Rocket to release directly on OTT?

According to reports, Taapsee Pannu’s Rashmi Rocket is going for a direct-to-digital release. The sports-drama film is directed by Akarsh Khurana.

Taapsee Pannu plays the role of a Gujarati athlete named Rashmi in Akarsh Khurana’s directorial venture, Rashmi Rocket. According to sources, the film is all set for a direct-to-digital release and its rights have been acquired by an OTT platform for a massive amount of Rs 58 crores.

From vigorous training sessions to behind-the-scene pictures from the film’s sets, Taapsee Pannu kept her fans hooked to the making of the sports drama Rashmi Rocket. Now, sources say that the film will take the digital route. The statement read, “Rashmi Rocket is going for a direct-to-digital release for a big 58 crores amount! This is the highest for any female-centric film we have seen that is releasing digitally. We are yet to hear more details about this one but given the content-driven landscape of the industry that we are witnessing, it looks promising.”

Taapsee Pannu penned a heartfelt note after wrapping up the shoot of Rashmi Rocket in Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, in January. Taapsee can be seen walking away in desert with her arms open in the photo she posted on Instagram. The actress wrote, “Not sure if I have the time and space to explain how this film actually happened. From the basic storyline I heard in Chennai 3 years back to actually complete its filming against all odds in these challenging times. This was one hell of a driven team effort!”

She further added, “I’m going to reserve the details for later coz I’m sure we have many more battles to fight till the release but what I can say is this is one team that’s gonna do it all with a smile and most effortlessly coz the captain of this ship @akvarious believes in working strictly in between chilling with bunch of friends on set, instead of the other way round. Producers @pranjalnk @nehaanand21 @rsvpmovies who are relentless and don’t have the word ‘quitting’ in their dictionary. @nehapartimatiyanidop whose lens can transform any basic moment into whistle blowing big screen shot . Writers, cast, art, production design , so on n so forth the list is long.

Taapsee concluded the post with, “Baaki release ke time kahaaniya bataane mein mazaa ayega. For now drawing the curtains on #RashmiRocket and moving onwards n upwards coz this Rocket has left us sky bound ! #FilmWrap #RashmiRocket.

Produced by Ronnie Screwvala, Rashmi Rocket also stars Supriya Pathak, Abhishek Banerjee and Priyanshu Painyuli.

Shah Rukh Khan reviews Shershaah, calls Sidharth Malhotra’s performance solid

Shah Rukh Khan has reviewed Shershaah. The megastar praised Sidharth Malhotra’s performance in the film.

Sidharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani-starrer Shershaah was released on Amazon Prime Video today. The film has been receiving praises from all centres. Sidharth Malhotra, especially, is being praised for his performance in the film. Now, Shah Rukh Khan has reviewed Shershaah. The megastar lauded the film in his latest tweet.

Shershaah traces the life of Param Vir Chakra awardee and Indian Army Captain Vikram Batra. Sharing his thoughts on the film, Shah Rukh Khan wrote, “If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live – King, Jr. Watching the impactful story of legendary Kargil War hero Capt. Vikram Batra (PVC), on screen makes us realise the meaning of this quote. Watch #Shershaah with Sid’s solid performance.


Shershaah has been receiving rave reviews from critics.’s Ananya Bhattacharya gave the film 3.5 stars out of 5 and wrote, “Most of the credit for that goes to the lead man, Sidharth Malhotra. The actor puts on the uniform and becomes Vikram Batra. Will Shershaah be Sidharth’s Uri though? Wish the film had had a theatre release! In her limited screentime, Kiara Advani leaves a mark on you. Dimple, however, remains as elusive as her real-life counterpart.

Akshay Kumar says releasing Bell Bottom during Covid-19 is risky, but then it is life

Akshay Kumar launched the trailer of his upcoming film, Bell Bottom, at an event in Delhi on Tuesday (August 3). The film is releasing on August 19.

Akshay Kumar on Tuesday said the team of his upcoming spy thriller Bell Bottom rose to the challenge of releasing the film in theatres amid the coronavirus pandemic as there is little to life without some risk. Directed by Ranjit M Tewari, Bell Bottom will be the first Hindi movie to hit theatres during the second wave of the pandemic.

With cinema halls being allowed to resume operation in states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, trade analysts are betting big on Bell Bottom to revive the cinema exhibition sector with its release on August 19.

“The pressure is there on everybody but I’m very sure that things are going to work out. There’s a challenge, a risk. But if you haven’t taken the risk in life, then what have you done? So we have gone with it,” said Akshay Kumar post the film’s trailer launch here at PVR Priya.

“In this journey, I have my producers who have also taken the risk and that’s how we have proceeded,” he added.

Also starring Vaani Kapoor, Lara Dutta and Huma Qureshi, the movie is set in the 1980s and features Kumar as a RAW operative whose code name is ‘Bell Bottom’. It was also the first Bollywood project to commence production amid the pandemic last year.

Besides Bell Bottom, Kumar also shot for his movies Raksha Bandhan and Ram Setu during the pandemic.

Asked how he convinced himself to get back to the set, the actor said life has to go on.

“We have to work and there’s no doubt about it. You all have also worked amid the pandemic. So, how can work stop? You have to keep on working and take care of yourself. This is going to be normal now and life has to go on,” Kumar, who tested Covid-19 negative on April 12 after getting diagnosed with the virus earlier in the month, added.

“In every project, there were close to 300-400 people working with me. So everything has to keep going on. Today we are releasing this film. We could have said that let’s leave it for now. But we have gone with it,” he said.

Though theatres have been allowed to reopen in many states, Maharashtra, which is one of the major markets for Hindi language movies, is yet to allow cinema owners to resume theatrical activity.

Asked if there’s a concern about cinema halls remaining shut in the state, Kumar said the makers have taken a leap of faith.

“It is a gamble and someone had to take this gamble. We have taken this leap and I’m confident that this is going to work.”

Producer Jackky Bhagnani said though Maharashtra contributes almost 30 per cent to the revenue of films, he is not worried about the prospects of BellBottom.

“With Bell Bottom, we are just happy to be the flag bearers. This is for the fraternity and we are very happy that this movie is coming in theatres. That is the most important thing.

“Yes, business is important but for this film especially, the biggest box office is that we are coming to theatres,” Bhagnani added.