Bobby Talks - Bollywood Movie Reviews, Inspired Cinema, Movies To See Before You Die, Articles on Cinema, Music, Poetry & Life.

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January 22, 2017 Sunday     

OK JAANU is the second official remake of a Maniratnam film by director Shaad Ali (post SAATHIYA/2002) that unfortunately fails to generate any kind of excitement, passion or love amongst its viewers, especially the youngsters, lacking the much-awaited novelty factor.

Going back to the experience of watching the original O KADHAL KANMANI, I liked the Tamil film for its spirited execution (direction), outstanding soundtrack and the four lovable leading actors reaching out to the viewers with their natural acts. The film majorly worked because of a genius like Maniratnam calling the shots and the music by A. R. Rahman, but it still didn’t have something entirely new or fresh exploring a unique idea that hasn’t been there on the screen before in a young love story.

Honestly that was the reason I got pretty confused hearing the news of its remake being made in Hindi for the viewers who had already seen several similar stories in the last couple of years and had rejected them too.

Thinking on these lines, I strongly believed Shaad must have made some major changes into the script differentiating it from the most recent ones (like Tamasha, Befikre or more) and the young at heart Gulzar surely would have contributed a lot through his magical lyrics for the melodies composed by Rahman (like many earlier Maniratnam film’s soundtrack dubbed in Hindi).

However every such positive expectation got brutally crushed by this completely lifeless film made by Shaad Ali once again going for a frame to frame remake of the original. Yes we cannot expect him to deliver the outstanding Maniratnam touches and the emotional masterstrokes, but I never expected they would also dare to mess with the film’s original hit soundtrack too in such a way including the lyrics of the veteran Gulzar. Ironically the music itself was the backbone behind the success of its Tamil original, which strangely seems to be so ordinary and technically inferior too (sound wise) if compared to the immensely likeable Tamil tracks (despite the language issue).

Keeping apart the status of an official remake, even if one watches OK JAANU as a new individual release (without making comparisons with the original), it still fails to make any kind of impact on the Hindi belt audience, since it neither delivers in terms of entertainment nor any novel or fresh storyline presenting the same seen before sequences and dialogues till we thankfully get to see something bearable in the last 20 minutes. The repetitive interactions keep on going even after the intermission without any plot revealed and that’s where one begins to think that,
“Why the hell this was remade when it had nothing new to deliver different from the already seen?”
Also the song "EnnaSohna" comes at a point when one wishes to say... ‘Oh please no more song now... and just come to the damn point cutting this silly crap’.

Moving ahead from the music and direction, even the performances don’t give you much to write about despite having Naseeruddin Shah and Leela Sampson lovingly playing the elderly couple living alone in a big house. Interestingly Leela played the same role a bit differently in the original too, but there she had Maniratnam directing the scenes adding his incomparable depth and insight to her touching portrayal. Also Prakash Raj was too good in the original in comparison to Naseer in this lackluster remake made with a pretty casual, overconfident and uncaring vision. May be a few more scenes focusing on Naseer and Leela alone would have helped the film to establish a much better connect with the viewers.

In the lead, Shraddha progresses as an actor and Aditya Roy Kapoor looks fresh and nice too playing his carefree character. But with nothing new in the storyline or their individual roles, even their pretty faces lose their charm post the initial 30 minutes. Basically because their director and his DOP remain more interested in the look, colour and the frames following an ineffective writing.

In all, if you are not willing to ruin the experience of enjoying a good emotional film with all fine performances and an upbeat, melodious soundtrack too, then watch the original O KADHAL KANAMANI (with English subtitles) instead and forget about this poor, un-required remake doing yourself a favour.

Rating : 1.5 / 5

For friends interested in reading the review of O KADHAL KANMANI, its available at the following link:
O KADHAL KANMANI (Tamil) - Review by Bobby Sing

Tags : OK JAANU Review by Bobby Sing, OKJAANU Film Review by Bobby Sing, Maniratnam Film Remakes in Hindi, Shaad Ali remaking Maniratnam films, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at
15 January 2017 / bobbysing /
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Addressing an important ‘under-carpet’ issue, HARAAMKHOR is unarguably a commendable debut in terms of creating an authentic environment and extracting brilliant performances from the well-chosen cast by the writer-director Shlok Sharma.

Not an easy story to tell, its set in a village of North India and revolves around a middle aged teacher, his relationship with a 14-years old girl student and her two other classmates (boys), who actually lead the narration from their individual perspective. Focusing on the group of mischievous school going kids, HARAAMKHOR remains an enjoyable fair in its entire first hour (like a funny children’s film) until a visually disturbing scene comes just before the intermission along with an ‘awareness disclaimer’ prominently written on the screen like the routine ‘smoking warning’.

It slows down post interval due to a predictable story progression but the two kids successfully keep it going, following their suspicious teacher and classmate providing the entertainment factor. Sadly, soon the narrative becomes scattered and a lot is left for the viewer’s own imagination, breaking the much-required connection. Further it all ends in a highly vague and confused manner too leaving you unmoved or perturbed (probably because a lot might have got chopped in the censored version I am not really sure of).

So the film does have its solid merits giving us a promising director, who is extremely confident, has an eye for details and perfectly knows how to deal and get the performances extracted from his gifted cast. It has Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who simply hits the bulls eye once again getting into another sick and twisted character of his career with an amazing ease and Shweta Tripathi, who truly stuns you playing a 14 years old student at the age of 31. The girl makes you believe that she is 14 with the help of her talented director and that is nothing short of a big achievement for sure in terms of an ‘unusual portrayal’.

However, the two actors who actually save the film from becoming a tough watch are the kids Irrfan Khan and Mohammed Samad (in particular), who frankly turn the film into a decently entertaining one through their funny and hilarious acts till the unexpected tragic climax.

Though it also has some deep, meaningful sequences expressing the issues of adolescents and their first encounter with romance, infatuation and sex too in its impressive first half. But even there, it’s the immensely likeable act of these two kids only that keep the ball rolling along with Nawazuddin and Shweta providing the more passionate moments. In straight words, take the two kids out of HARAAMKHOR and it falls flat despite its strong merits of an authentic environment, superior performances and a significant reality based subject.

Having said that, its this hilarious (read comical) and immensely engaging angle of the film only that eventually turns into a highly confused venture, conceived with an eye on both festival and general audience together following a completely flawed vision.

Making it clear, yes the film has a horrific or disgusting subject revealing an ugly social reality existing right amongst us. But at the same time it’s also witty, hilarious and entertaining too for most of its part, largely defying ‘the awareness purpose’ of its plot of child-abuse. As an honest sharing, I couldn’t understand or bear why humour and comedy was used as a tool by the writer-director bringing forward a subject of such alarming importance.

Putting it differently, I would actually like to question that as a viewer……. 
Am I supposed to enjoy watching a middle-aged teacher sexually abusing a teenage girl student (doing it again after already being married to another young student of his)?

Am I supposed to laugh while that’s being shown on the screen through the eyes of two peeping toms (the boys) completely forgetting the heinous act?
Should I have a strong feeling of hatred and disgust for the evil teacher well-enacted by the now habitual Nawazuddin Siddiqui?

Yes, ideally there should have been an intense feeling of disgust and hatred felt while watching the film’s second half. But strangely HARAAMKHOR doesn’t let you do so, because of its funny and enjoyable environment maintained throughout the final hour before the abrupt finale.

As a result, the viewer keeps smiling or laughing, watching through the eyes of two spying boys always following their school-tuition teacher and his favourite student. In fact at times it looks like the film itself is enjoying focusing on the ‘mentally sick character’ of Nawaz playing his dirty games.

Therefore, HARAAMKHOR strictly works if you consider it only for the performances extracted and the regional ambience created by the director and his technical team. But it miserably fails when you look at the way it portrays a critical social issue in a questionably entertaining and comic manner, probably trying to satisfy two entirely different kind of audiences. The team rightly chooses a relevant and potential subject that could have resulted in a hard-hitting, thought provoking film lifted by the four terrific performers. But the writing deliberately mixes it with ‘too much’ of deviating humour, largely shifting the viewer’s focus from a distressing social problem.

In short, HARAAMKHOR keeps hanging in the mid and leaves you with absolutely nothing in the end, except the two laughing kids in the mind while walking out of the theater, which is not supposed to be the end-result of a film talking about an innocent, child abuse victim.

Rating : 2 + 1 / 5 (and the additional one is just for Shweta, Irrfan and Mohammad Samad playing the three young classmates.)

Tags : Haraamkhor Review by Bobby Sing, Haraamkhor Film Review by Bobby Sing, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at, Off Beat films made on social issues, New Thought provoking films, Children Based film, Hindi films on adoloscents.
13 January 2017 / bobbysing /
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- If only pretty faces is all you are looking for in a supposedly new-age love story.
But to be exact, if you are not willing to ruin the experience of enjoying a good film then watch the original O KADHAL KANMANI (Tamil) instead and do yourself a favour.

HARAAMKHOR -  Its not just leading actors but the two kids who actually save this film from becoming a tough watch.

SARVANN (Punjabi) - Didn't expect such a weak and irresponsible film from a talented team, poorly mixing the elements of Rajesh Khanna's ROTI and DUSHMAN.
Unfortunately the team delivers a pretty bad film when it was actually needed the most, with Priyanka Chopra making her production company's debut in Punjabi Cinema.

(Detailed Reviews to be updated soon in the coming days)


Tags : This Friday One Line Reviews by Bobby Sing for your weekend plans, Ok Jaanu Review, Haraamkhor Review, Sarvann (Punjabi) Review By Bobby Sing
13 January 2017 / bobbysing /
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