Friday, February 26, 2010

Karthik Calling Karthik Reviews

Overall Rating: 2.43/5

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Ratings:2/5 Reviewer:Rajeev Masand Site:IBNLive
For a substantial portion of Karthik Calling Karthik, writer-director Vijay Lalwani succeeds in keeping you reasonably intrigued. But this is not an easy film to appreciate. Part-office romance part-psychological study, Karthik Calling Karthik never quite succeeds in striking a consistent tone. Despite its promising premise, the film ultimately fails to work because of a clumsy screenplay that doesn't know which way to go. Despite its snail-like pace, you are hopeful the film will culminate in a thrilling discovery, but the central conceit is a disappointing letdown, not to mention impossibly far-fetched. In the end, Karthik Calling Karthik appears confused and half-baked, and it commits that deadly unforgivable cinematic sin -- it bores you!. I'm going with a generous two out of five for director Vijay Lalwani's Karthik Calling Karthik. Hang up, it's a wrong number.
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Ratings:2.5/5 Reviewer:Taran Adarsh Site:BollywoodHungama
Have you ever received a call from yourself? Is it possible in the first place? There are several theories doing the rounds about the two Karthiks in this movie. KARTHIK CALLING KARTHIK works in parts, but during the penultimate part, when the story shifts from Mumbai to Kerala, the sand castle, so beautifully built by debutante director Vijay Lalwani, gets washed away. One doesn't want to challenge the behavioural patterns of a person with a certain disorder, but when it comes to the big screen, when you are narrating a story on celluloid, you need to do a lot of spoon-feeding and make it look convincing. In this case, unfortunately, the finale is just not convincing and therefore, acts as a spoilsport.On the whole, KARTHIK CALLING KARTHIK is a decent product with an unconvincing conclusion. Watch it for the wonderful performances of Farhan and Deepika, if you have to. Caters to the youth in metros mainly.
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Ratings:3.5/5 Reviewer:Nikhat Kazmi Site:TimesOfIndia
Farhan Akhtar is turning out to be a revelation as an actor. As Karthik, the cube farm animal (read office nobody) who lives a drab life in a drab house doing drab work, he is absolutely stunning. As does his chutzpah, when he metamorphoses into the other, more savvy and socially adept Karthik who may be the nice and safe guy but definitely not the boring guy. At one level. Vijay Lalwani's film is immensely watchable, purely for the class act by Farhan Akhtar in the title role. Where it doesn't work is the entertainment factor. The screenplay does tend to get a bit clunky and the drama somewhat heavy as the director looks for text book resolutions of the teasing problem. But, by and large, there is a thrill factor that keeps the momentum on. In the mood for serious cinema? Watch Karthik Calling Karthik.
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Ratings:2/5 Reviewer:Khalid Mohammed Site:Passionforcinema
Vijay Lalwani’s Karthik Calling Karthik, in principle an enterprise of potential. In fact, you’re all keyed up for a psycho-thriller which seeks to yoke matters of the heart with a disturbed mind. Dilwala meets Cuckoo? Huh, terrific. Sorry to say, your high hopes crashland. The effort to  get close to the main protagonist’s mind jungle is a bungle. Okay, so he plays around with a Rubik’s Cube.  So what?.To be fair, the screenplay does kick off engrossingly enough, describing the daily beat of meek Karthik The last section of this overly-long 16-reeler, alas, places your teeth at edge. The screenplay becomes ridiculous,. Plus,  who-cares-for-the-viewer editing cuts are used to skip over the rank implausibilities of the plot. Although the dialogue is hip, the twists and turns of the dramaturgy are anything but. To elaborate on this aspect would mean too many spoilers. Suffice it say, you can’t understand why there are so many repetitions of, “Are you mad?”, “Are you okay”, “You need help.”
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Ratings:2.5/5 Reviewer:Sukanya Verma Site:Rediff
Lalwani runs out of ideas and till intermission KCK seems to be heading nowhere. Pace is one of the film's recurring problems. It's unnecessarily pensive and long-winded for its genre. Things get dark and creepy in the second half when the Karthik-Karthik pact takes a beating. This is when Lalwani comes in his element and shows a flair for gritty thrillers without resorting to cheesy exaggeration or relying on excessive technique He, to my disappointment, opts for a rather squishy third act as opposed to the threatening climax I had anticipated. While Lalwani deserves a pat for working around an unusual, intriguing plot, he fails to sustain the same with substantial meat or layers. He, to my disappointment, opts for a rather squishy third act as opposed to the threatening climax I had anticipated. While Lalwani deserves a pat for working around an unusual, intriguing plot, he fails to sustain the same with substantial meat or layers.
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Ratings:2.5/5 Reviewer:Anupama Chopra Site:NDTV
Debutant writer-director Vijay Lalwani creates some seriously creepy moments here. He successfully transforms an ordinary telephone into a malevolent instrument. I also enjoyed the romance between Karthik and Shonali, who is far more daring and feisty than him. Deepika Padukone finally seems to be thawing in front of a camera.But sadly Karthik Calling Karthik works neither as a romance nor as a thriller. The drawn-out love track only stalls the suspense as do the unnecessary songs, especially in the second half.The characters don’t engage you emotionally and the mystery isn’t thrilling enough. The pacing is uneven but the fatal flaw is the limp resolution.Karthik Calling Karthik isn’t a bad film but it isn’t very good either.
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 Ratings:1/5 Reviewer:Shubhra Gupta Site:IndianExpress
Karthik Calling Karthik' is actually two films. One, an office romance between a colourless drone and a beautiful colleague who notices him only when the boss lashes out at him in public. And the other about a guy who hears voices in his head and gets strange phonecalls from someone who claims to be him. Karthik calling Karthik, geddit? It could have been one film if first time director Vijay Lalwani had kept the writing and the tone consistent as he went about building the plot points. But there’s really no steady progression, just staccato sequences where Karthik ( Akhtar) and Shonali ( Padukone) go from happy to fractious within nanoseconds.
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Ratings:3.5/5 Reviewer:Shweta Parande Site:Buzz18
Writer-director Vijay Lalwani has made KCK with a lot of love. Its Hollywood style treatment is good and so is the editing. It's an old story in a new format, but the humour in the dialogues makes it watchable. The cinematography also does the trick.The film makes you sympathise with Karthik. And yes, you get the jitters every time the phone rings. Even the shrink (played by Shefali Chhaya) runs away from it!The director has effectively been able to make a thriller out of a story about the games our mind plays. The treatment is edge of the seat and smooth.Even though it's pretty clear by the interval what the film is about, the suspense remains till the end. You don't know till the end if it's about something supernatural or not. Watch the film to know the truth.
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Teen Patti Review

Overall Rating: 2.06/5

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Ratings:1/5 Reviewer:Rajeev Masand Site:IBNLive
The holes in the plot aside, Teen Patti suffers on account of careless direction. Can it really be so easy for two professors and their students to walk in and out of seedy gambling parlors without raising any suspicion.You're troubled by dozens of such howlers in a film that gets virtually nothing right. The dialogues are impossibly stupid, and passing off over-fed, gaudily-dressed junior artistes as millionaire gamblers is laughable to say the least. Directed by Leena Yadav, Teen Patti is an incoherent mess of logic-defying scenes that never come together as a fluid script.Shock that nobody associated with this film had the intelligence or the courage to turn around and say, "This sucks." At best, on a really boring day, this film might provide some unintentional comedy. For that alone, I'm going with one out of five for director Leena Yadav's Teen Patti . Formidable actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Ben Kingsley are cast together for the first time on screen in a film like this. We ought to be ashamed.
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Ratings:2.5/5 Reviewer:Taran Adarsh Site:BollywoodHungama
TEEN PATTI is not only about gambling on table, but all those gambles that we take in our life. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Hollywood film 21, TEEN PATTI is akin to a roller coaster ride; if there are highs, expect the lows too. Leena Yadav's take on greed and deception has some defining moments, but the fact is that the writing lacks clarity. Let me explain. Probability is a very interesting theory in mathematics. But the problem is, is it easy to comprehend for the average viewer? Frankly, despite Leena's best efforts, only a handful of viewers will be able to comprehend the goings on and the theory of probability. Besides, the narrative is such that it caters to the intelligentsia mainly. For the average moviegoer, thirsting for entertainment, it has little to offer.
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Ratings:3.5/5 Reviewer:Nikhat Kazmi Site:TimesOfIndia
 Ready for a razor sharp teaser? Watch Teen Patti. The film is a taut thriller that's not only done with loads of style and attitude, it also showcases a fine ensemble cast of youngsters who represent the edginess of today's youth. And if that's not enough, there's further enticement in the character and currently in-form status of Amitabh Bachchan, who is hell bent on a second, third and fourth coming. After the mesmerising Auro in Paa, Amitabh's eccentric mathematical wizard who talks to Albert Einstein, when he's alone, is immensely watchable in Teen Patti.The second half does get somewhat repetitive, with the film refusing to move out of the gambling dens and the climax gets somewhat hurried. But majorly, the film holds as a taut thriller that keeps you glued for most of the screen time.
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Ratings:2.5/5 Reviewer:Preeti Arora Site:Rediff
One of the most popular moves in Teen Patti is 'Blind'. But here, it seems director Leena Yadav was moving blindly in all directions.The script doesn't evolve, it just jumps jerkily from one level to another so that the director can take her story to a predictable end. Bachchan does his best but he's tied down with a clichéd script.The script is not the only place where the clichés abound. The underground gambling dens are garish and look straight out of Dev D. In fact, it is the acting prowess of the ensemble cast that gets you involved. As Kingsley and Bachchan share their life experiences, there is the sheer pleasure of watching two legends share screen space.Teen Patti is worth a watch just for these actors.
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Ratings:1.5/5 Reviewer:Anupama Chopra Site:NDTV
I don't know much about math but I can safely say that in all probability you will not enjoy this film. Teen Patti is a train-wreck of a movie. It's incoherent, lengthy and worst of all, agonisingly pretentious. Director Leena Yadav takes the kernel of the story from the 2008 Hollywood film 21.In 21, the professor is a greedy, slime ball who uses his students but since here he is played by Amitabh Bachchan, plain wickedness won't do. So Yadav and her co-writer Shiv Kumar Subramanium add blackmail and sad student back-stories to justify the bad behavior. The result is an incredibly garbled tale of gambling and greed that finally ends in death and redemption.
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Ratings:2.5/5 Reviewer:Gaurav Malani Site:Indiatimes
After playing with words in her last film Shabd, director Leena Yadav attempt to play with numbers in Teen Patti. Ignoring the practicality of the gambling game, the film starts on an interesting note with decent buildup to the plot. Leena Yadav shows ‘flashes’ of brilliance in showing the progression of the gambling racket from shady prohibited properties to elite classy parties. But with repetitive gambling episodes adding no new perspective to the film, the proceedings tend to get monotonous after a point. But where the film primarily fails is in clicking as a suspense flick. Teen Patti ends up being the kind of gamble that’s no big deal.
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Ratings:1/5 Reviewer:Mayank Shekhar Site:HindustanTimes
Bachchan’s professor dreams up certain theories on probability. It is never made clear what they are. So the premise of the picture itself remains unknown. But he’s sure he can crack the game on any table. He and a few moronic college kids frequent gambling dens posing as hustlers, and bring home fair loot every night. Again, of course, we don’t know how.Merely notations denoting permutation, combination of sequences appear scribbled on the screen, and jutting out of the prof’s head. For an explanation he suggests: Man is a process, not an event. Sure. The old champion is blackmailed into performing tricks. Stakes go up. So do the scale of the dens they operate in. No kidding. This is the most elegantly lit (cinematographer Aseem Bajaj) rendition of pure gibberish that I’ve seen in a while
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Ratings:2/5 Reviewer:Shubhra Gupta Site:IndianExpress
The two venerable gentlemen sit across a table, and allow the film to unfold in flashbacks, telling the story of the misunderstood prof and his little band of students, primed to read cards and signal in hand codes, and rake it in, until they run into unfactored equations. The trouble with `Teen Patti’ is not that we’re all too familiar with its central idea. It lies in the patchy way the plot is laid out, and in the characters who do not, at any point, feel completely filled out. In too many places, the design is allowed to scream for attention, overwhelming the people, and the action, such as there is.
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Friday, February 19, 2010

Toh Baat Pakki Review

Overall Rating: 1.94/5

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Ratings:1.5/5 Reviewer:Rajeev Masand Site:IBNLive 
Toh Baat Pakki", directed by Kedar Shinde, is an idiotic and regressive film that's trying to pass off as a light-hearted family entertainer in the spirit of those old-fashioned Rajshri movies.The inherently offensive nature of the film's central premise is shrouded under the director's feel-good treatment of the same. Set in a quaint, idyllic small-town that distinctly resembles Ooty, the film struggles unsuccessfully to channel the simplistic, charming humour of Hrishikesh Mukherjee's films, and the family-friendly melodrama of Sooraj Barjatya's early hits.But in the absence of a coherent script, and the obvious lack of conviction on the director's part, "Toh Baat Pakki" is ultimately a bumpy, confused ride.The film's second half in particular is convoluted and unconvincing
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Ratings:2.5/5 Reviewer:Taran Adarsh Site:BollywoodHungama
But TOH BAAT PAKKI is not as invigorating as one expects it to be. The film has some wonderful moments, some old-world charm, but the humour, at several points, falls flat. Especially towards the penultimate portions. Final word? It's a half-baked fare!.The problem with most storytellers is, the story they choose may sound convincing at narration level, but what eventually unfolds on screen is half as convincing. On paper, the 4-para synopsis of TOH BAAT PAKKI holds promise, but the screenplay, spread over two hours, has its share of hiccups. On the whole, TOH BAAT PAKKI has a few interesting moments, but not enough to keep you hooked. It will have to rely on a strong word of mouth, especially from family audiences, to stay afloat.
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Ratings:3/5 Reviewer:Nikhat Kazmi Site:TimesOfIndia
 a film that's cast in the mould of the middle-of-the-road comedies that made the eighties' cinema so winsome and breezy. Pitched somewhere between realism and drama, the film somewhat recreates that genteel era when cinema talked about flesh and blood people who didn't scream, holler and howl revenge. Well, Toh Baat Pakki may not be as riveting as the 80s entertainers, yet it rides high on sheer nostalgia.For those who like their films to move at frenetic pace, Toh Baat Pakki may seem a bit laidback. But once you sit back and settle down for some gentle laughs, the film offers you an engaging drama with a tall act by tall and lissome Tabu. Sharman, carries on unspooling his careless charm after his charismatic act in 3 Idiots. A pleasant watch.
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Ratings:1/5 Reviewer:Raja Sen Site:Rediff
Toh Baat Pakki works like a Priyadarshan drama devoid of the outrageous plot and the utterly watchable hero, and we're served up a bland, preposterously dated 'comedy' with lame jokes and little to laugh at.Tabu herself can't help being a good actress. But she clearly doesn't have the wherewithal to rescue a script this weak, loaded down with bad lines and a very weakly written character. She manages to amuse for maybe a minute or two in a film that seems far longer than its two hour running time
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Ratings:2/5 Reviewer:Anupama Chopra Site:NDTV
Toh Baat Pakki is the sort of homely family drama that Sooraj Barjatya might have made on a bad day, about a decade ago. This family sit-com style plot could have yielded a few laughs but director Kedar Shinde doesn’t know how to pitch the film. So in between farcical comedy, there is heavy duty melodrama and we are asked to take both equally seriously.The writing is dull and Shinde further slows the pace down by bunging in songs that feature the otherwise traditional and simple characters in hip clothes in locations around Mumbai and Goa. The first half just about manages to hang together but in the second, Toh Baat Pakki derails. Toh Baat Paaki feels like eating left-overs that have been reheated too many times. It’s not very appetizing.
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Ratings:3/5 Reviewer:Gaurav Malani Site:Indiatimes
Amidst romance flicks that are repetitive and comedies that are clichéd, the romantic comedy Toh Baat Pakki comes as a breath of fresh air as much as the breezy and fancy hill-station of Palanpur that it’s set in. Though not path-breaking in any terms, the flavour of the film is a delectable balance between candyfloss and masala. But despite the multiple movie references that one can distinctly derive from Johar-Chopra flicks, Kedar Shinde’s Toh Baat Pakki essentially works because comedy keeps overshadowing candyfloss in the treatment. Vibha Singh’s screenplay is laced with fresh and frothy scenes and the well-worded dialogues comprise of casual conversations from everyday life that one can easily relate to. The humour is not slapstick which adds to the appeal. Rest assured, Toh Baat Pakki promises some pakka entertaining moments!    
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Ratings:1.5/5 Reviewer:Mayank Shekar Site:Hindustantimes
You can tell Tabu (like the filmmaker) has one eye on the “rest of India”. The film is immediately aimed at viewers in the nation’s countrysides, lovers of old ‘family values-based’ Bollywood, and television’s primetime family soaps (less popular now). Very few films these days are built that way. This one’s a good sign then.The set-up is sweet. The soundtrack is organised. The town Palanpur – cozy, quiet and well-planned -- is suitably fake; the atmospherics, complete.The filmmakers just don’t know what to make of the plot.Your mind boggles. Nothing makes sense. The film carries on.
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Ratings:1/5 Reviewer:Subhash K Jha Site:Ibos
Baat Pakki is one of those tragic comedies that don’t elicit a hint of humour. This middle-of-the-roader gets stranded in the middle of nowhere.The plot is intrinsically bereft of ingenuity .The direction is plodding and strained most of the way.Among the many problems that plague the plot is the lack of inherent drama in Tabu’s character. Her character has no inner life , no motivating emotions except hatching silly match-making schemes for her giddy-headed sister to tie the knot.The lingering condition of a hangover mixed with yesterday’s leftovers stays with the film right till the bustling conclusion when all of Rajeshwari’s match-making manipulation come to fatuous fruition.Toh Baat Pakki tries hard to be charming and quaint. It lacks that lightness of weight that would have made the characters appear larger than life in an unstrained, unstained atmosphere.
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Click Review

Overall Rating: 1.94/5

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List of Click  Reviews


Ratings:1.5/5 Reviewer:Rajeev Masand Site:IBNLive 
Generously inspired from the similarly harebrained-but-at-least-marginally engaging American B-movie "Shutter", which was itself a remake of a Thai original, Sivan's desi version borrows visual references from so many Japanese and Korean films it's hard to keep count.To be honest, there's not one scary moment in this film; in fact it's unintentionally hilarious.For a few good laughs, if nothing else, I recommend you revisit one of those old Ramsay films instead of this plodding bore.I'm going with one out of five for director Sangeeth Sivan's "Click". What's scary is that films like these get made!
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Ratings:2.5/5 Reviewer:Taran Adarsh Site:BollywoodHungama
Although quite derivative, CLICK remains watchable for two reasons: The storyline is interesting [if you haven't watched any of the versions, of course] and the horror quotient is better than most horror films made in Bollywood. Also, the sound design is efficiently done. Of course, there's a flipside too. The film could've done with better special effects, could've been shorter [it tends to get repetitive at times], could've been fast-paced and could've also done without songs. Final words? Horror movie lovers shouldn't be disappointed! . On the whole, CLICK should appeal to the youth, especially those who love horror films.
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Ratings:2.5/5 Reviewer:Nikhat Kazmi Site:TimesOfIndia
She comes back from his past to haunt his present. But does she really create a scare, this crestfallen, sad little spirit who suddenly begins to peer at him from behind mirrors, under beds, inside closets and sobs tears of blood, wherever she goes? Not really. After a few initial jumps here and there in the beginning, you don't get the heebie-jeebies, simply because the director reveals too much, too fast. Also, the special effects are not quite state-of-the-art and images of the ghost walking upside down on the ceiling or clambering, head downwards, from a ladder, are actually cheesy. They don't chill your bones, as all horror films must do. The film works only in fits and starts. Shreyas does try hard to keep the momentum going, but the campy special effects leave a lot to be desired. Watch it for the twist in the tale in the end and some goosebumps in the beginning.
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Ratings:3/5 Reviewer:Nithya Ramani Site:Rediff
Though a copy -- Click bears close resemblance to Masyuki Ochiai's Shutter, The Ring and The Grudge because of its look and graphics -- the film is watchable. Horror film buffs will enjoy Shreyas Talpade and Sadaa's performance.The story leading to an unusual climax is interesting. Another interesting aspect is that the film's hero is being haunted for no apparent reason. But he has a past and what happens to him in the end is justified.Sangeeth Sivan succeeds in keeping you engrossed for most of the film though a crisper ending would have been better.Overall, Click is a decent movie. Watch it for the good performances.
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Ratings:2/5 Reviewer:Gaurav Malani Site:Indiatimes
Click is as barefaced a horror film can get with literal in-your-face thrill treatment. The spook strategy dates back to Ramsay days with white-faced ghosts popping out their white-eyeballs to colourless effect.The horror resorts to exaggerated spooky sequences that turn out to be a nightmare (literally). The writing is conspicuously contrived and scenes are stretched to extents that test the audiences’ patience. Comparatively the culmination is inventive and interestingly handled. To sum up, director Sangeeth Sivan lacks the technical finesse to handle the horror genre and ends up remaking an average story into an appalling film. Click seems to be as manipulative as photo-shopped images. It simply fails to click.
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Ratings:1.5/5 Reviewer:Anupama Chopra Site:NDTV
How hard can it be to make a reasonably diverting horror film if all you’re doing is copying? Well, if you’re Sangeeth Sivan, the answer is: very hard. Sivan steals liberally from the 2008 Hollywood filmShutter, which itself is based on a Thai film, but he can’t even string together the material coherently. Click is just plain awful.Click might make you jump once or twice but mostly it’s a saga of unremitting boredom. Click is horrific in more ways than one.
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Ratings:1.5/5 Reviewer:Sonia Chopra Site:Sify
Many of our filmmakers, quite unfairly, are certain the Indian audience isn’t ready for real horror - only embarrassingly bland thrills that pass off for scares. In Click, the scare quotient dips to a new low, matched only by Ramsay’s productions that were unintentionally comic.In our films, apart from the story, even the ghosts are prone to beating about the bush. If it’s revenge they’re looking for, they’ll first kill time blowing out candles and shaking furniture.At least, in Ram Gopal Varma and Vikram Bhatt’s scare-fests, you’re at the edge of your seat a couple of times. Here there’s no such moment. Predictable to the core, and copied from the 2008 English movie Shutter (a remake of an earlier Thai film), the story only plummets further into the bizarre.
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Ratings:1/5 Reviewer:Mayank Shekar Site:Hindustantimes

The leading duo in this film imagines phantom images of a girl they knocked down in a car crash. They fled after the accident. The victim follows them around. She appears in pictures they click. You get the drift: she’ll appear, and then disappear. The audience will wait in anticipation. Hopefully.And then you watch how something this simple can so well be screwed up. Characters (psychic shrink, poet for a photo-shop owner, kooky parents, collegian rapists…) materialise from nowhere, and disappear accordingly. One commits suicide piercing a knife through his neck; the other, lies in bed with a charred face. There’s a back-story to every back-story. The rubbish never stops.
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