Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ishqiya Review

Overall Rating: 3.63/5

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Showing 8 Reviews

List of Ishqiya Reviews


  Ratings:3.5/5 Reviewer:Rajeev Masand Site:IBNLive

Ishqiya, directed by debutant Abhishek Chaubey, is a delicious little film that teeters dangerously between saucy comedy and suspenseful noir. Unapologetically adult in its relationships, its language and its humor, the film sparkles for its inspired writing and uncompromised direction. Ishqiya is a film that has wheels within wheels, a film that's constantly unraveling itself, surprising you as every new layer is peeled. If the film falters, it's in the third act where a key twist comes off as unconvincing, and a climax too convoluted. But these are small nitpickings in an immensely enjoyable journey that deserves to be relished more than once. I'm going with three-and-a-half out of five and a thumbs-up for director Abhishek Chaubey's Ishqiya, It's an assured, confident debut and one hell of a rollicking ride. A textured, compelling drama that's unlike anything you've seen lately.
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Ratings:3.5/5 Reviewer:Nikhat Kazmi Site:TimesOfIndia

Ishqiya is a zany little black comedy that may be completely desi in its idiom, its lingo, its landscape. Yet, when it comes to drama, it is totally Hollywood. Debutant director Abhishek Chaubey tells his story with a panache that falters only in the end. Ironically, if he hadn't faltered in winding up this delectable little tale of a wicked trio, with nothing to lose not even their morals -- he would have created a masterpiece. But the last few reels are so much of a rumble-tumble, they leave you both confused and somewhat dissatisfied. In Ishqiya lingo, the film is a sutli bomb (firecracker) that tickles and explodes. But for the hurried and harried end. Go, have a blast.
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Ratings:4/5 Reviewer:Taran Adarsh Site:BollywoodHungama

Get ready for tangy, pungent, sizzling and spicy stuff. Be forewarned, ISHQIYA isn't the fluffy, candyfloss, saccharine sweet story of lovers breaking into songs in mustard fields. In ISHQIYA, you just don't know what turn the story may take next. Not just the story, even the characters here are so impulsive and unpredictable.You need to have a strong stomach to absorb ISHQIYA. It's high on drama, it's wild, it's real. But it's not dark, it's not sleazy, it's not crass.  Set in Gorakhpur in North India, the film has a rustic feel, depicts characters that may make you uncomfortable and is laced with saucy lingo. On the whole, ISHQIYA is definitely worth a watch. The film has a riveting plot, great performances, soulful music, an absorbing story and skilful direction to make the viewer fall in ishq with it. It should appeal to the hardcore masses as also the multiplex junta.
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Ratings:3.5/5 Reviewer:Sukanya Verma Site:Rediff
Comfortable in its capricious skin, Ishqiya -- a tricky and moody tale of a whimsical trio caught in twisted circumstances -- gets even more complicated owing to the impulsiveness of heart. Regardless of its colourful language, simmering sexuality, ribald humour and unabashed reverence for the offensive, the drama has enough lyricism, layers and eccentricity to stereotype it as grim or gawky. While Ishqiya is a terrific first-time effort from Chaubey, there were a couple of things that strike a jarring note. Firstly, the pace could have been tauter and done away with all the excessive ambiguity surrounding characters, sub-plots and their objectives. If the idea is to keep them enigmatic, it is tediously conveyed.
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Ratings:3.5/5 Reviewer:Gaurav Malani Site:Indiatimes
Ishqiya excels in narrating a saucy story and, unlike Kaminey, doesn’t gets complicated or convoluted in its storytelling. Director Abhishek Chaubey has a fresh, flirty and frivolous approach to filmmaking. The spellbinding screenplay written by Abhishek Chaubey, Vishal Bhardwaj and Sabrina Dhawan, despite being multidimensional, touches the subplots only peripherally and doesn’t delve into the past beyond the needful. Regardless of the rugged-and-rustic ‘City of God’ kinda setting, the flavour of the film is predominantly light-hearted, as instinctive comedy oozes out from almost every sequence. Ishqiya certainly is a film you will fall in love with.
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Ratings:3.5/5 Reviewer:Anupama Chopra Site:NDTV
I know its only January but I think its safe to say that Ishqiya is the most crackling film you’ll see this year. It’s feisty and sly and very, very sexy.Written by Vishal Bharadwaj, Chaubey and Sabrina Dhawan, Ishqiya gives us a love triangle unlike any we’ve seen before. In the second half, there are stretches in which the plot starts to blur and the end-twist is less than convincing. But if you have the patience and the willingness to savor an edgier, less populist popular Hindi cinema, you will be amply rewarded. I strongly recommend that you see it.
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Ratings:4/5 Reviewer:Martin D Souza Site:Glamsham
The dialogues are witty, corny and peppy and at times even bounce over your head. This because the film has stayed true to its rustic setting in the interiors of Uttar Pradesh. The screenplay is just perfect with every object positioned in the right place. What's interesting is that the camera never misses even one expression from the characters in the frame to any given situation. Every actor delivers and everyone involved in the making of this movie deserves credit.
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Ratings:3.5/5 Reviewer:Aniruddha Guha Site:DNA
In Ishqiya, director Abhishek Chaubey combines elements of his guru Vishal Bharadwaj (the rawness of the script) with that of Quentin Tarantino (the background score and wild characters), which results in an edgy, stylised comic thriller.Ishqiya, among other things, is a great start for director Abhishek Chaubey. The film — with its great music, superior performances, and memorable dialogues — cannot be missed, unless you are under 18 years of age. This is pure ‘adult’ fun.
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Rann Review

Overall Rating: 2.67/5

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Showing 9 Reviews

List of Rann Reviews

 Ratings:2/5 Reviewer:Rajeev Masand Site:IBNLive
For a film set within the world of television news, Rann is embarrassingly ill-researched and contains plot holes the size of craters. Varma threatens to expose the politics of television news, but with his simplistic, misguided approach his film ends up just as sensational as the very channels he points fingers at. Rann is not so much a bad film as it is a boring, predictable one. Varma and his writers borrow the Madhur Bhandarkar-blueprint and give us uni-dimensional characters who are either black or white, seldom grey. Although the film's portrayal of a certain kind of Hindi news journalism may not be far from the truth, it is the film's lazy stereotyping that is tiresome here.What ultimately comes in the way of Rann achieving the potential of its premise is the over-use of cliché in the absence of original writing.I'm going with two of five for Ramgopal Varma's Rann; it's not even average stuff from a filmmaker who's given us so much more. Can we have the old Ramgopal Varma back please?
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Ratings:4/5 Reviewer:Nikhat Kazmi Site:TimesOfIndia

It's gritty. It's grey. And it's greatly topical too. Ram Gopal Varma returns to his let's-dissect-the-real-world brand of cinema with the racy-pacy Rann that might run on predictable lines, nevertheless it makes for a gripping viewing with its behind-the-scenes dekko on the Breaking News, any which way, syndrome that seems to have overtaken certain sections of the media. And, like Satya, Company and Sarkar, which re-visited India's mighty 'n murky underworld through the lens of edgy semi-realism, Rann too rips off the mask of honest reportage from the TRP-obsessed television media that has fallen prey to presenting anything -- mythology, folklore, fantasy and even falsehood -- as news.Where it does score is the way it tells the story: thriller-like, taut and testy. More importantly, it's the performances that pump life and blood into the characters you recognise, lock, stock and barrel.
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Ratings:3.5/5 Reviewer:Taran Adarsh Site:BollywoodHungama

RGV goes into the newsrooms and also behind it and throws light on the politician-industrialist-media nexus. Also, it's an insider's account of how news channels that are greedy for ratings sensationalize stories to grab eyeballs.RANN is a serious film and RGV knows what he's talking this time. It wouldn't be erroneous to state that you recall RGV's SARKAR while watching RANN, even though the two films are as diverse as chalk and cheese. You recall SARKAR because RANN is an equally powerful film that shows a world we've only seen from the exterior. RANN is for those who enjoy serious cinema. It's more for the intelligentsia, for the thinking viewer. Definitely not for those who seek refuge in frivolous masala capers.
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Ratings:2/5 Reviewer:Sukanya Verma Site:Rediff
What can you say about a film where the only thing in place is Amitabh Bachchan's perfectly knotted tie? Also, while Ramu's criticism on sensationalist media is pertinent and understandable, the concern is executed with such superficial, amateurish and half-baked views, it's cringe-worthyThere are a couple of moments in Rann involving a seemingly anonymous call to super tense Sudeep or Big B coming to terms with the humiliating truth about his son are reminiscent of vintage Varma, Then again, a messy climax, witless and uninspired writing and shoddy, detail-free narrative ensure these memories are washed out as soon as they are formed.
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Ratings:2.5/5 Reviewer:Gaurav Malani Site:Indiatimes
To be honest (like the film demands), Rann is not a new story but the news battle setting saves it from getting run-of-the-mill. Rather than a story designed around the media world, Rann is more of the clichéd corrupt politician chronicle (that Bollywood has been narrating since ages) set on the backdrop of the broadcasting business. Though writer Rohit Banawlikar pens some intense dramatic sequences which are deftly directed by Ram Gopal Varma, Rann relies on a very predictable plot. Further the film opts for the most conservative and convenient culmination with a sting operation in the climax. The film does run out of steam, sporadically, in the second half but otherwise Rann is a riveting drama.
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Ratings:2.5/5 Reviewer:Sonia Chopra Site:Sify
Here the tone is self-serious and dark, and the message lost in all the intensity. One is angrier with the film perhaps, because, the subject is so relevant. And Ram Gopal Varma really had a chance to make a film that could carry its message to the film-watching public. Instead, you have black and white characters comprising the usual clique of the righteous man, the villainous politician, and supportive love interest. The film does have its moments. The portions that snatch credibility away from the film are many.The second half has so many characters thrown around, it’s difficult to keep track of the story that has now gone into whodunit mode.The most poignant of all scenes, the finale monologue, has earned the film its stars.
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Ratings:3.5/5 Reviewer:Shweta Parande Site:Buzz18
Of the many films made on the media and its functioning, Rann will go down as one of the best ones. Ram Gopal Varma has brought to life a predictable but powerful script, backed by extremely talented actors and technicians. But the director has taken many cinematic liberties.Rann is serious from the beginning, so the first half is a bit of a drag, when the plot is being established. But post interval, the film is truly gripping. The world of media is depicted more from of what probably director Ram Gopal Varma as well as you and me have observed as viewers. It is not necessarily a well-researched film, but inspired from real happenings a la RGV's Satya or Company.Ram Gopal Varma brings us yet another gripping drama in the league of Sarkar and Sarkar Raj. The performances definitely make up for the flaws in the story. Also watch out for some good scenes and camera angles.
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Ratings:2/5 Reviewer:Aniruddha Guha Site:DNA
The problem with Rann is that, save that one sequence and some interesting moments leading up to it, the film is a drag. At interval point, in fact, you aren't even sure where the film's going. In the second half, when you find out where the film is going, you realise that it isn't really going anywhere at all.If he insists on continuing with his style of filmmaking, the least he can do is ensure that there's a great script to back it up. This one, though, seems to be a rush job.
Rann just doesn't work.
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Ratings:2/5 Reviewer:Anupama Chopra Site:NDTV
Raan is poorly written, badly researched, and deafeningly sensationalist. Rann had the potential to be powerful drama but Varma and his writer Rohit G. Banawlikar fritter away the opportunity with cardboard characters and feeble plotting. There aren't any flesh and blood people here, just types with one defining trait. The narrative is equally flat and full of football-size loopholes. The shrill dialogue doesn't help matters much. Subtlety is not this film's forte.
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Road To Sangam Movie Reviews

Overall Rating: 2.9/5

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Showing 5 Reviews

List of Road to Sangam Reviews

Ratings:3/5 Reviewer:Nikhat Kazmi Site:TimesOfIndia
The film has done its round at the festival circuit and has garnered appreciable applause. It isn't hard to see why. Because, Road to Sangam is a sensitive plea for secularism and liberalism, even as it shuns the shrill cry of the fundamentalists in any and every religion. More importantly, it articulates the moderate Muslim voice which needs to be heard loud and clear in this cauldron of increasingly hysterical extremist rhetoric. Paresh Rawal's Hashmatullah isn't just a modest car mechanic. He's a walking, talking Preamble of India, upholding the essential values of a sovereign, democratic, secular nation.
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Ratings:3/5 Reviewer:Taran Adarsh Site:BollywoodHungama
One look at the promos of ROAD TO SANGAM and you realize that this isn't one of those films you watch every week. ROAD TO SANGAM, in fact, pricks your conscience and mirrors a reality. A simple, thought-provoking story, ROAD TO SANGAM has some brilliant moments and also some sequences that you carry home. But what could've been told in a concise format seems stretched after a point. Also, besides moving at a snail's pace, there's also sermonising at times, which wasn't really required. On the whole, ROAD TO SANGAM is mainly for connoisseurs of cinema and also for the festival circuit.
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Ratings:3/5 Reviewer:Martin D Souza Site:Glamsham
Fiction with a tadka of reality. The concept is brilliant. The mixing of the two is smart. Imagine someone concocting a story around an urn containing the ashes of Bapu and drumming up a delectable recipe for peace. There's also mention of Jinnah and his hand in the partition. Food for thought. Sixty-three years later, the hate war still wages. In the beginning, ROAD TO SANGAM, is a little bumpy, but though the journey is a little long, it enlightens before you reach the end. It leaves you asking many questions. I strongly recommend, that the young and old should venture on this ROAD TO SANGAM. It's a journey worth exploring.
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Ratings:2.5/5 Reviewer:Jaya Biswas Site:Buzz18
Amit Rai's Road to Sangam is yet another addition to the marquee that talks about the age-old bitterness etched in the hearts of several Hindus and Muslims during the 1947 partition.First timer Amit Rai does an admirable job in making a thought provoking film that drones the message of equality and humanity without getting clichéd.The story is gripping but the pace is extremely slow giving the film the feel of a docu-feature, which somehow evaporates the tremendous impact it made at the interval.It's a journey worth exploring.
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Ratings:3/5 Reviewer:Subhash K Jha Site:Iboss
This is a small tender idea, executed with a certain amount of élan and loads and loads of heart. Writer-director Amit Rai’s debut film is a Gandhian parable done up in shades that are at once, pristine pastel noble gentle warm tender and funny.Lay down the guns and swords of the unnecessarily Veer generation. Look at the wounded world through the eyes of a man who feels Mahatma Gandhi’s last remains in a urn are more crucial than being rigidly loyal to your own cause and religion. There’s a lesson to be learnt from this film.Luckily we aren’t required to dig too deep into the narrative to procure the message.Gentle and heart-warming Road To Sangam is that rare passionate paean to patriotism that doesn’t resort to flag-waving even once.
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New York I Love You Reviews


Overall Rating: 2.87/5

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Showing 4 Reviews

List of New York I Love You Reviews

Ratings:2/5 Reviewer:Rajeev Masand Site:IBNLive

New York, I Love You, an anthology of ten short films about life and relationships in the Big Apple, is possibly the best cure for insomnia. This dull and cumbersome feature that includes shorts by 11 directors is second in a planned franchise that started with Paris Je T'aime in 2006. The larger problem with this omnibus is that most of the shorts come off as either affected or cynical, but always boring. Where's the spirit, the energy of this cultural melting pot which we've heard so much about?I'm going with two out of five for New York, I Love You; not all shorts are unwatchable, but as a collection, it's mostly dreary and pretentious. You'll find it hard to stay awake.
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Ratings:3.5/5 Reviewer:Nikhat Kazmi Site:TimesOfIndia
So what's your favourite New Yorkism? Multi-culturalism, pub culture, smoking on the side-walks, friendly cabbie rides, night-outs with strangers, no-strings-attached sensual encounters, absolute anonymity, endless opportunity, Broadway binging, Central Park strolling, skyscraper gazing, Fifth Avenue ambling, Brooklyn Bridging, Village hopping, day dreaming, night riding....New York, I Love You offers you all this and so much more; sometimes through a vibrant palette of deft strokes and succinct characters and sometimes in somewhat pallid form. Truly, this brain child of producer Emmanuel Benbihy who began with the Parisian ode, Paris Je t'Aime and proposes to make similar `I Love You' films on Rio, Shanghai, Mumbai and Jerusalem, is a mixed bag. Understandably, everyone is going to have their personal favourites.
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Ratings:2/5 Reviewer:Rashid Irani Site:Hindustantimes
Those who remember Paris, je t’aime (2006) fondly are likely to thumb up this bite of the Big Apple. Others may be disappointed, though, with the  hodgepodge of styles offered by the various eight-to-ten minute vignettes served by 10 directors.The brief segments just don’t come together to make a common point. As disturbingly, native New Yorkers such as Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee are conspicuous by their absence in this tribute of sorts to Gothamville.
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Ratings:3/5 Reviewer:Renuka  Vyavahare Site:Indiatimes
New York, I love you too is a collective tale, although difference being, the characters here just cross paths, their lives are not intertwined. 11 romantic short stories directed by 11 international filmmakers run parallel throughout the film. Each film is 8 minute long. The 11 open ended romantic tales may have a different story to tell but they all revolve around seeking and finding love in the least expected places. The anxiety and uncertainty of human nature when it comes to love is captured perfectly in all of these tales and that is what makes you like this film.
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rajeev Masand Reviewer Profile

As part of profiling various famous reviewers this week we take a look at Rajeev Masand. earlier in this series we have uncovered
Nikhat Kazmi's Profile
Taran Adarsh's Profile
Rajeev Masand is an Indian film critic and entertainment reporter for CNN-IBN. Rajeev Masand has been reporting on the glitz and glamour of Bollywood and the wide world of entertainment for over a decade now. On May 26 2011 he was nominated as a member of censor board.Today the best-known link to Bollywood and the media, Rajeev starting off at 16 was one of the youngest entertainment correspondents. Since then, he has reported on a wide range of subjects in entertainment – from the emerging "new cinema" movement of the late 90's to the underworld-Bollywood nexus - and has consistently reviewed weekly releases at the Box Office. Rajeev joined STAR News as Special Correspondent in January 2003 and hosted the show - Masand ki Pasand.
On December 30, 2005, Masand moved to CNN-IBN where he is currently the network film critic and runs an ongoing video reviews series on their website, Masand's Verdict and this is where he has garnered immense popularity to become one of top reviewers in the country. He also became the host of the channels entertainment series, To Catch a Star.
Personal Preferences:
He considers the opportunity of interviewing Hollywood legend and filmmaker Manoj Night Shyamalan as one of his most memorable assignments to date. He rates Edward Norton as his favourite actor and Khamoshi by Sanjay Leela Bhansali as his favourite film.
Read all Rajeev Masand Reviews

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Veer Movie Reviews


Overall Rating: 2/5

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Showing 8 Reviews

List of Veer Reviews

Ratings:2/5 Reviewer:Rajeev Masand Site:IBNLive

Even if you're willing to forgive all the historical inaccuracies and the complete disregard for detail, Veer starring Salman Khan, is still an impossible film to appreciate.Much of the film's first half holds up because there's conviction even in the stupidity. You may find it hard to believe that one man can single-handedly fight an armed gang, but Salman and his director dive into the most preposterous scenes unblinkingly.I'm going with two out of five for director Anil Sharma's Veer. Watch it if you're a die-hard Salman fan. It's an epic-sized period film with tacky special effects.Unacceptable in these times. From Cameron's Pandora to Anil Sharma's Pindhari, we've come a long way baby!
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Ratings:2.5/5 Reviewer:Nikhat Kazmi Site:TimesOfIndia
Hence the importance of Salman Khan's Veer which celebrates a kind of cinema that might soon be extinct in desi film lore. You can also sound the mandatory wolf whistles on Salman's unabashed beefcake appeal that spills over in every frame of the film. Intermittently, you can also applaud him for trying his best to create a hero out of this ill-conceived, cardboard cut-out that seems to hobnob between Dharmendra's Dharam Veer and Russel Crowe's Gladiator. But after that, there's nothing left to hold your attention in this prolonged misadventure that loses a lot due to a tardy screenplay, a headless script and an old-fashioned direction
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 Ratings:1.5/5 Reviewer:Taran Adarsh Site:BollywoodHungama
VEER is about a warrior and at the same time, it's a love story too. Sadly, neither does it evoke any patriotism, nor does the love story make your heart go dhak-dhak. VEER has it all - great stars, opulent and majestic sets, adrenaline pumping action scenes, but no soul [read script]. The movie begins with a bang, but the moment the story shifts to London, it crashes! On the whole, VEER rides on Salman's star power, but even his hardcore fans will be disappointed by this movie. VEER proves the age-old adage true: All that glitters is not gold. Final word? You have to be a veer to sit through VEER. Colossal disappointment!
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Ratings:1/5 Reviewer:Raja Sen Site:Rediff
Director Anil Sharma has never been known for his subtlety, and here, sinking his teeth into the painfully melodramatic script, he goes at it hammer and tongs, taking one megabudget misstep after another.The film is mounted on a massive scale, and you do see hundreds of extras milling about -- but they clearly don't matter. All that does is Salman, who cashes in every ounce of his insouciant brat-star persona to lug this film forward and, credit where its due, comes off as likeable for at least the first hour, which is more than most could have with a film this catastrophic.It's a film so dated it hurts. Imagine Manmohan Desai's atrocious Mard, but minus Mr Desai or Mr Bachchan. Yes, that bad. Of course, perhaps these very qualifications as a potentially classic drinking game will ensure Veer a hit box office status, but if this film succeeds, we should all be a little concerned.
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Ratings:2/5 Reviewer:Gaurav Malani Site:Indiatimes
In real life, it seems like Veer Salman ne apne hi paav par kulhadi maar lee (hit the axe on his own leg). The average story he pens doesn’t do justice to the immense intensity he adds to his performance. So Salman is marred and let down by his own self. Veer opens in 1862 though it comes close to the masala magnum opus flicks of the 80s. The story is loosely reminiscent of Manmohan Desai’s Mard (1985) while the setting and treatment are derived from same director’s Dharam Veer (1977). You have to be a braveheart to watch Veer.
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Ratings:2.5/5 Reviewer:Anupama Chopra Site:NDTV
Salman’s supersized presence lifts the silliest scenes. But eventually, even his ripped muscles sag under the weight of this bloated epic. Running at over two and a half hours, Veer just goes on and on. It seems like an endless montage of battles and blood. There is enough jewellery in this film to fund a few others.The film has many such moments that are so over the top that words cannot convey their full comic impact. If like me, you can find delight in the sheer delirium of a bad Bollywood film, then see Veer, otherwise do catch it on DVD. In a few years, this sensibility and swagger will be extinct.
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Ratings:2.5/5 Reviewer:Martin D Souza Site:Glamsham
Set in the 19th century, this period drama is no classic epic, but it has the trappings to keep you glued to your seat. Yes, there are loopholes in the screenplay and script and some silly moments as well, but once you see the brave attempt by the makers you cannot but laud it. Only thing, they could have been more careful about the costumes worn by the lead actors. Difficult yes, but if enough research was done and as much importance given to it as the fight sequences, it could well have been another GADAR. The plot has its heart in the right place. Salman Khan as Veer is dashing and dynamic.
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Ratings:3/5 Reviewer:Jaya Biswas Site:Buzz18
Salman seemed to be back in form. He has lost more weight this time and looked better than in Wanted. It felt good to see him dancing gracefully and emoting right at the same time, maybe because Salman himself has invested a lot in terms of story as well.It wouldn't be wrong to say it's Salman's film all the way but one person who actually stole the thunder with his fantastic support was Mithun Chakraborty.Anil Sharma's contribution as a director was probably till the time he brought the actors together. Though there was no dearth of grandeur, the cinematography is decent - especially the scenes shot in the palaces and forts - the special effects look tacky. The saving grace of the film is its pace. And the action scenes that make you watch the film till the end. I would go with 2/5 for the film and 1 for Sallu-Mithun chemistry.
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