FAN movie review

FAN, well we all are of many things, activities, movie superstars, sports and political personalities etc etc. Fan the film has one such character named Gaurav who is obsessed with Superstar Aaryan Khanna that makes him live his life under the influence of the actor which makes him forget his own life.
The film is made of a well executed and promising first half with a standout performance from Sharukh Khan. But the latter half though watchable could not live upto the promises of the first seventy minutes or so. Had the screenplay been better in the final stages and was able to compliment the better looking pre-interval session, Fan could have ended up in a better way and better shape.
Gaurav, a youth hailing from the suburbs of Delhi is fond of actor Aaryan Khanna. "To be fond of" will be too light and too small a description to explain the love he has for the superstar. Its much more than that as he is a hardcore fan and a lookalike of Aaryan. He decides to go and meet the actor in person but when the going does not move as the way he planned, the fan in him gets obsessive and dangerous. He plots the actor's downfall exploiting his similarity in looks.
Well you might me thinking why I have explored too much into the storyline. Its because what I have explained here is almost the same thing that was shown in the trailer too. I don't know why they revealed too much as it was an easy guessing game about the plot if one has seen Fan's trailer.
There is nothing more and nothing less in the film as the basic thread in the story revolves around the Fan following the superstar in the first half that turns upside down in the second half as it is the superstar's turn to follow his fan for obvious reasons.
In my opinion, the film deserved a better finishing and a more impressive second half. What happened here was that the screenplay turned weak as the movie progressed from the halfway mark. One could sense a light hearted and careless approach to finish off things in a hurry that puts the film on a sticky wicket.
On the performance side, it was vintage Sharukh Khan. As Gaurav he proves that the actor in him is still alive. One could never see SRK in Gaurav as he made sure that this character stands different from the real SRK.
When it came to Aaryan Khanna that has complete makeover of Sharukh's real self, it was another effort that looked totally convincing. Read in a newspaper the other day an interview of the actor saying that for him portraying Aaryan was more tougher than Gaurav. Well seeing things, I have to contradict him. Respecting his experience and views but looking at the way he has handled both Gaurav and Aaryan, I think depicting Gaurav was more complicated than Aaryan.
Yogendra Tikku and Deepika Amin are the supporting actors playing parents to Gaurav who have something to act apart from SRK. Few more supporting actors are there with limited roles but I am not family with their names.
Fan is not a total washout but it could have been far far better. The movie had a great thread in it to show something exceptional and it was evident till the halfway stage. But it could not capitalise on its initial promise and ended up on the brink of an average film even with some exceptional performance from the lead actor of whom I myself is a big fan. My rating is two and a half out of five for Maneesh Sharma's FAN, the movie.
Rating - 2.5 / 5

Jungle Book movie review

Some films have the power in it to mesmerise us and have an ability to transport the audience to another world. Gravity in the recent past was one such film that transported us to a virtual space. The Jungle Book also has a similar feel where the viewers are taken not to space but to a deep and dense forest. Simply put its an awesome film with unbelievable visual beauty in it giving a brilliant feel waving an air of magic all around.
A kid who has grown up in the 90's would be eager to watch The Jungle Book. Having seen the animated version in DD in those days, the question in my mind was whether it has matched up to the hype and to my expectation. Well its a big yes and more than that.
On a bigger canvas with the aid of technology coming to its side in the form of CGI and Motion Capture, the film is a top class one suitable for people of all ages. Add to these the voices given by some of the best in business helping the film to make it one of the best in this genre.
So we have Mowgli an orphan found out as an infant by the the black panther Bageera who entrust him to the Wolves. He grow up under the care of Raksha and Akela. Situation reach a stage where Sher Khan the Tiger wants him dead as for him man is forbidden in his world. Thus goes the story and the journey of Mowgli to the man village that ends up Mowgli coming back to where he grew up.
The Jungle Book is a visually appealing fantasy adventure in every sense that has matched upto its hype in almost every department. The pace is quick with some edge of the scenes making your viewing experience highly engaging and rewarding.
Now to Neel Sethi, the twelve year old boy enacting the role of Mowgli. He fitted into that character with lot of ease and never would one feel that he was acting. So natural that his effort needs to be appreciated in a big way.
The voices to the characters from some top class actors complimented the boy's effort with such perfection. Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Scarlett Johansson lending their voices for Baloo, Sher Kan, Bhageera and Kaa the snake respectively gave the film additional flavour. Technically excellent CGI work overall with some of the scenes having a mind blowing feel.
There are scary scenes too giving the film a dark tone to it. So in my opinion the censor board giving a U/A certificate for the film was apt as the those scenes demands children to view The Jungle Book with their parents by their side.
The final conclusion from me is that with its nostalgic value, impressive visual effects and stellar voices this movie matches the best of the league. Go and grab your tickets for this must watch film to make this weekend extra special. I am going with four out of five for Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book which was a pure delight with its execution and stunning visual effects.
Rating - 4 / 5

Jacobintey Swargarajyam Malayalam Movie Review

When you are down and out, you look to someone close to inspire and motivate to overcome the hurdles that you are facing. This will give you a boost up and makes you think positively and provide the much needed confidence. Jacobintey Swargarajyam has many moments in it that will give positivity and motivation. Directed by Vineeth Sreenivasan his fourth directorial venture, JSR is a simple family film for everyone.
Its the story of a successful businessman Jacob based in Dubai. The film capture the happy family he has built, the business empire he owns, the ups and downs of the family and the hardships they face on the backdrop of American recession that had a telling effect in the Gulf.
Based on a true story, JSR is not the regular entertainer that Nivin has been part of with Vineeth. One can find fault by saying there is too much preaching in the overall storyline. But for me it was a different experience and JSR gave lot of positives and takeaways when life is not running to our plans.
Screenplay has infused lot of goodness and emphasise the importance of relationships in a family. Jacob the central protagonist gives lot of prominence for his family members just like every ordinary man. The film establish what our close family members can do for us when the going gets tough.
There are also some finer moments that will touch our hearts. When Jacob tells his son that never in his life he has made his better half cry is one such moment in the film that will leave you emotionally touched. Same way how Dinesh Prabhakar explain the role played by Jacob for his success to Jerry is a well pictured scene that explains the strength and depth of the screenplay.
Vineeth Sreenivasan is directing his fourth film, his third with Nivin Pauly and to me JSR is a movie that he can very well be proud of for the way it is narrated and executed. He has himself written the screenplay which has a running time of two hours and twenty five minutes. Certain things on how the problem is overcome in second half can be questioned but being a true incident, I feel that should have been the way how it was dealt with in real life.
An engaging and lively first half is followed by a more serious second half that slightly gets some lag at times. Its because of the nature of the story that a slight lagness is felt in the post intermission session. But all is well that ends well as JSR gives you ray of light and hope through each and every frame to lift your confidence level.
Nivin Pauly plays the character of Jerry who is the eldest son of Jacob with ease. It was a controlled act from the actor who has only a limited role initially but gradually gets more prominence as the movie progress. Sreenadh Bhasi as Abin and Aima Sebastian as Ammu are the other siblings in the Jacob family and both were good in their respective roles. The youngest of the lot was also nice. Sai Kumar, T G Ravi and Dinesh Prabhakar had few scenes but all three had meaty scenes to showcase their acting credentials.
The star of the show was definitely Renji Paniker appearing as the title protagonist Jacob. He has evolved as a good actor as each film passes by and Jacob in JSR is yet another role that he will cherish. Lakshmy Ramakrishnan as Shery as the better half of Jacob was a surprise package here. An impressive performance indeed from her.
Ninety nine percent of the film is shot in the Middle East and Jomon T John who is behind the camera has as always captured each and every scene with his trademark shot. Edits by Renjan Abraham was apt without compromising on the flow of the film. Shaan Rahman who is behind the music scene has done a neat job both with the BGM and songs.
There is less or no amount of jokes and humour in the film. So don't expect such stuffs in JSR as the subject which is shown doesn't demand such things as it discuss a serious thing here. With lot of thought provoking and message conveying things looming large over the entire running time, Jacobintey Swargarajyam gave me a positive energy and at the same time good experience at the movie hall. I go with three and a half out of five as my personal rating.
Rating - 3.5 / 5

Ki & Ka movie review

Gone are the days in a family where men had to earn the daily bread while women are confined to their home in the role of a homemaker. Atleast in films there is some change to the age old tradition followed in our country. R.Balki's Ki & Ka challenges the so called notion of gender responsibility placed upon men and women in the present day Indian society. Content wise, Ki & Ka thinks out of the box with something fresh to tell. But the film has not succeeded in presenting this unconventional and unorthodox plot in a remarkable fashion.
The film has a role reversal theme where the husband Kabeer played by Arjun Kapoor dons the role of a homemaker while his wife Kia (Kareena Kapoor) earns the family's income through a job. The plot captures the chaos that ensues after this role reversal happen once the two decided to get married in totally different format where its the female who ties the mangalsutra on her husband.
The freshness in the theme is the biggest highlight of Ki & Ka but when it came to the execution and writing part, Balki could not thicken the plot and develop it into an exciting product.
For a change you can say the basic storyline is something novel and untested before in Indian movies but the exciting part of this film ends here. There is boredom creeping in and how the film takes its shape running on egoistic and jealous attitude of one of the partner when one gets all the attention is something we have seen very often.
As a oneliner, Ki and Ka holds enough promise but the lack of solid development in the plot makes the film travel on the downward platform.
Kareena Kapoor bring life to her character very well and it was a cool performance from the actress this time. She has dual shades to the character of Kia and both of them were safe in her hands. Arjun Kapoor couldn't quite match upto the standards of Kareena but it was an okay act.
The film has very little number of supporting actors as the entire running time is focused on the two title protagonist and their interesting family life. Still two names in a very little role made their presence felt. Rajith Kapur and Swaroop Sampath as father and mother to Kabeer and Kia respectively did their brief supporting acts quite well.
Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan act as themselves in a cameo and their scenes along with the combination shot with Arjun Kapoor was a bright spot.
P.C.Sreeram's camera work was notable and was an added bonus to make the viewing experience in terms of visual experience a bright one. Background score is composed by maestro Ilayaraja and true to his class he has given matching tunes to suite each and every scene. Songs with the visuals and situations were okay. Credit to the art department for that train background where the couple live which was something interesting.
The bottom line here is Ki & Ka other than the presence of an interesting and refreshing concept along with an honest effort from its lead actress has nothing more in it. Once the initial euphoria settle in, the film starts its downward journey just like how the marriage between the two couples developed. At best Ki & Ka is an average outing and I go with two and a half out of five with the hope that Balki takes more care into his screenplay next time.
Rating - 2.5 / 5