Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Ghayal Once Again

Ghayal Once Again is a 2016 Indian action film directed by Sunny Deol and produced by Dharmendra. The sequel to the 1990 film Ghayal stars Sunny Deol in the lead role. The film was released worldwide on February 5, 2016

The film opens with flashbacks of Ghayal. Angry young Ajay Mehra shoots and kills Balwant Rai (who had murdered Ajay's brother) and surrenders himself to upright cop Joe DSouza. Ajay is sentenced to prison. Upon his release he begins a new career as a reporter for an independent newspaper. He doubles as a vigilante who assists the police with their hard-to-prosecute cases (including cases where the accused are prominent and influential members of society).

One such case involves small town reporter Renu who was drugged and raped by her boss, the media baron Rajguru. Renu killed herself and Rajguru's men quashed the matter and implicated her innocent boyfriend. Ajay swings into action and abducts Rajguru and forcibly obtains a DNA swab. Rajguru is arrested. Ajay is a hero, a sensation. (It is revealed that Ajay still suffers panic and anxiety attacks from his painful memories of his past. His girlfriend Riya, a psychiatrist, helps him with his problems.) Joe DSouza has retired and is a social activist. Ajay often collaborates with him and helps him out.

Joe DSouza is killed in a traffic accident near Nanded. Young blogger Zoya Saigal is shocked to discover that Joe was, in fact, shot dead. She had accidentally captured the murder on video. Joe was shot by Kabir Raj Bansal, son of the tycoon Raj Bansal. Zoya and her young friends panic and want to take the video to the cops but Anushka's (Zoya's friend) grandfather infers that Raj Bansal had staged the road accident (where 8 other innocent people were killed) and stops them. Bansal is too powerful. It is further revealed that D'Souza had visited Raj Bansal and directly accused him of a land grab. Bansal tried to buy him off, there was an argument, and Kabir Raj Bansal, in a fit of rage, shot D'Souza. The accident was a cover up. Bansal privately realizes that Kabir is still a bratty kid and decides to enrol him into a military school.

On her grandfather's advice Anushka turns the video over to the lawyer Kriplani who quietly returns it to Bansal in order to ensure the children remain safe. But Kriplani's son, Rohan, a friend of Zoya, realizes that his father has given up the video and thus urges Zoya to reach Ajay Mehra. As the children hurry to reach Ajay they are intercepted by Bansal's goons. There is a chase. Ajay saves the children and recovers the video. Riya takes the children to the hospital where they are abducted by Bansal',s men.

It is revealed that Anushka is Ajay's own daughter. Kabir tortures the children until Bansal, tired of his son's tantrums, warns him away. Bansal holds Ajay's daughter and releases the other children. He tells Ajay that his daughter will henceforth stay with Bansal in order to ensure the safety of Kabir. Bansal's mother objects but Bansal, locked in moral conflict, waves her away. Bansal orders the Home Minister to arrest Ajay Mehra.

Ajay overcomes the cops and mounts an attack on the Bansal mansion to rescue his daughter. There is a fierce fight. Ajay rescues his own daughter as well as Bansal's daughter who gets trapped in the debris. Bansal capitulates and is arrested along with his son. The film ends as Ajay and his daughter recover in the hospital surrounded by their friends.

Sunny Deol as Ajay Mehra
Om Puri as ACP Joe D'Souza
Shivam Patil as Rohan
Rishabh Arora as Varun
Diana Khan as Zoya
Aanchal Munjal as Anushka
Soha Ali Khan as Riya
Narendra Jha as Raj Bansal
Manoj Joshi as Minister
Tisca Chopra Sangeeta
Ruhanika Dhawan Ananya
Sachin Khedekar as Lawyer Kriplani and Rohan's father
Ramesh Deo Anushka's grandfather and Varsha's father
Srijitaa Ghosh as Renu
Nadira Babbar as Raj Bansal's mother
Abhilash Kumar as Kabir Bansal
Zakir Hussain
Meenakshi Seshadri as Varsha (Special Appearance-Flash Back)

Movie Review
Till the film keeps moving briskly—the chase scenes are effective, if stretched—you stay with it. And then the ludicrous plot with all those hanging threads kicks in, and prevents us from getting what we’ve come to this film for : to see Sunny D. do his thing the way only he can. Sunny the actor is still a lethal weapon and can blow his opponent all the way across the room. Sunny the director should just get out his way. - 

Ghayal Once Again is a film that actually has potential but wanes out. Modelled on the Jason Bourne series, there is the thrill quotient in the action – two long chase sequences are worth watching. A lot of screaming and torture happens too, but we’re hooked somehow. And that’s the only good part.
Everytime Sunny Deol becomes silent for more than two seconds, we know what to expect. And he obliges by screaming on top of his lungs. Meanwhile, foreigners keep getting busted and beaten.

Fortunately, Ghayal Once Again wraps in about two hours and does away with all that was wrong in the first one -- songs, comedy -- to focus on elaborate chase sequences involving the kids in a mall conspicuous by unconcerned shoppers and invisible security or a reliably invincible Deol and a Frank Martin clone over a LaCie hard drive. Nice bit of detailing there. Only the rugged, shockproof model could survive the ensuing destruction and daredevilry.

Neerja 2016

Neerja is a 2016 Indian Hindi-language biographical thriller film written by Saiwyn Quadras, and directed by Ram Madhvani starring Sonam Kapoor, Shabana Azmi and Shekhar Ravjiani. The film was produced by Atul Kasbekar under the banner of Fox Star Studios. The film revolves around the Libya backed Abu Nidal Organization's hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan on 5 September 1986. The film is shown from the point of view of the flight's head purser Neerja Bhanot who thwarted the hijack attempt by preventing the plane from taking off, and saved the lives of 359 passengers and crew on board.

The film released worldwide on February 19, 2016 to critical acclaim.

The film opens with Neerja Bhanot (Sonam Kapoor), 22 years old, arriving (late) for a house party. She's loved by everyone, the life of every party. Later that evening her mother (Shabana Azmi) expresses concern once again about Neerja's job as a flight attendant and suggests Neerja return to her old job of modeling. Neerja likes her job and is driven to the airport by her boyfriend Jaideep (Shekhar Ravjiani). (Her mother is not totally thrilled about this either.) Neerja's colleagues love Jaideep, he adores her and gives her an advance birthday present.

Neerja reflects on her brief and unhappy arranged marriage. Her former husband was a professional in Doha, Qatar. He constantly harangued and abused Neerja over dowry. (It is revealed that Neerja's family had made it clear there would be no dowry, but the husband had expected something anyway.) He also abused Neerja as she could not cook or clean. She eventually returned home to honor a modeling contract. He sent back a humiliating letter attacking her parents about dowry, her lack of domestic skills and suggesting that she had better bring something (money) back or not come back at all. She broke off with him and landed a highly competitive job with Pan Am.

As Neerja boards Pan Am 73 (Sep 5, 1986) it is revealed that a terrorist group has planned to hijack the plane in Karachi. The plane takes off from Mumbai and lands in Karachi where the terrorists board the plane disguised as security officers escorting a Libyan diplomat. They reveal themselves and hijack the plane. Neerja quickly alerts the cockpit and the American pilots escape through the overhead hatch and run into the terminal. (The plane cannot be flown.)

When an Indian American inadvertently reveals himself (to be an American) the terrorists grab him and shoot him dead before the Pakistani negotiators. The terrorists try to locate the radio engineer among the passengers but Neerja bravely signals him to remain quiet. Later the terrorists ask the flight attendants to collect the passports so as to locate the Americans and hold them hostage. Neerja and her colleagues collect the passports but skilfully avoid any American passports by kicking them under the seats or down the trash chutes. Soon the terrorists locate a British citizen and use him for negotiations.

The Pakistan negotiators inadvertently reveal the name of the radio engineer (a Pakistani); he is now located and roughly brought into the cockpit to start the radio and begin the negotiations. The Pakistanis stall for time. The terrorist leader chastises the other, younger, terrorist who has begun roughing up the passengers and molesting the attendants (including Neerja). Angered by his public embarrassment the younger terrorist storms into the cockpit and shoots the radio engineer and, in full defiance of his leader, screams wild threats over the radio. The terrorists are confused; the leader only wants to complete the mission but the younger man is now only serving his own rage. Pakistani air control is still negotiating but they are slowly losing control and time and the terrorists are getting agitated by the minute.

Some 17 hours later the plane loses auxiliary power and the lights go out. Despite Neerja and the other attendants trying to explain this as a normal airplane reaction, the terrorists believe the power was cut by the Pakistan armed forces who will soon storm the plane. They now begin indiscriminately shooting passengers. At great peril to her own life Neerja opens the rear door and deploys the chute and begins directing passengers down the chute. Neerja could have escaped by herself but she chose to put the passengers first. In the end she is shot and killed by the terrorists as she tries to shield young children from the gunfire. The film ends with a tributary message to Neerja who was eventually recognized with bravery awards by India, Pakistan, USA, and other countries.

Sonam Kapoor as Neerja Bhanot
Shabana Azmi as Rama Bhanot
Shekhar Ravjiani as Jaideep
Yogendra Tiku as Harish Bhanot
Sadh Orhan as Saad Mallik
Abrar Zahoor as Zayd Safarini
Jim Sarbh as Khalil
Ali Baldiwala as Mansoor
Vikrant Singta as Fahad
Kavi Shastri as Naresh
Bobby Arora as Sardar Family Friend
Rehan Shaikh as passenger
Edward Sonnenblick as Capt. Jack Snipes
Arnold Malek as Capt. Harrison James
Waqar Khan as Co-Pilot Richard Bertrand

Critical response
Bollywood Hungama gave the film 4/5 stars and said, "as a movie watching experience, 'Neerja' is flawless. There's not a single false note." Writing for the Hindustan Times, Anupama Chopra also awarded the film 4/5 stars saying, "Neerja is a truly inspiring story that will grip you from the first frame till the last," and calling it Sonam Kapoor's best performance. Rajeev Masand gave the film a 3.5/5 rating and said that 'Neerja' is "a well-intentioned, heartfelt film that pays tribute to a real hero." Sarita Tanwar from Daily News and Analysis gave the film 4/5 stars and said, "Neerja is quite easily the finest film in recent times (on par with 'Talvar') based on a true story. She also said that cinematographer Mitesh Mirchandani ensures that 'Neerja' is "one of the best shot films in recent times." Raja Sen from Rediff.com gave the film 4/5 stars as well and called it "an absolute must-watch," and adding that "Sonam Kapoor is exceptional as Neerja Bhanot."Subhash K. Jha from SKJ Bollywood News gave the film 4.5/5 stars and called it "A Brilliant Tribute To The Braveheart And To Rajesh Khanna

Neerja is a milestone in Sonam Kapoor’s career. Not just because it’s a good film, but because she carries it entirely on her shoulder. She looks earnest, scared, benevolent and bold, all at the same time. You should see her in the scene where a terrorist frisks her: She aces it with a panache seldom seen in mainstream Hindi films. Shabana Azmi is very impressive as Neerja’s mother, her grip over emotional scenes are quite visible. The other person who deserves applause is Yogendra Tiku who plays Neerja’s father. The emotions reflect so swiftly on his face that you can see your dear ones there.

Jai Gangaajal 2016

Jai Gangaajal (English:Hail The Ganges) is a 2016 Indian Hindi action drama film, directed by Prakash Jha. It is a sequel of the 2003 crime film Gangaajal, and stars Priyanka Chopra in the lead role with Jha appearing in a supporting role. The film also features Manav Kaul, Rahul Bhat and Queen Harish. The film was released worldwide on March 4, 2016. The Government of Madhya Pradesh declared Jai Gangaajal as tax-free status on 9 March 2016.

Bablu Pandey the MLA of Bankipur district and his brother Dablu Pandey(ninad kamat) run a jungle raaj in their town of Lakhisarai. They are grabbing land for a power plant whose financiers are backing their party politically. The home minister of the party appoints SP Abha Mathur(Priyanka Chopra) as the SP expecting her to be soft on criminals and supportive of her mentor who is the home minister. But she goes all out against the criminal brothers. Her subordinates get encouraged by her brave acts against corruption and slowly are bringing the jungle raaj to an end. Bhola Nath Singh aka B.N. Singh(Prakash Jha) is a corrupt circle inspector who has helped the brothers for a long time and using legal loopholes and other corrupt ways to keep them out of harms way in return for financial and political support.

As the brothers feel cornered, Dablu out of desperation makes the mistake of kidnapping an orphaned teenage girl and her younger brother who refuses to give away the land. During the kidnapping Dablu rapes and kills the girl and hangs her from a tree showing this as a suicide as her father had committed suicide too under pressure of selling the land. B.N. Singh comes to his senses after seeing this brutal crime and tries to arrest Dablu Pandey which starts a riot in the town inducing the younger brother of the murdered girl to use his belt throttle Dablus neck and killing him, seeing which the common people gather around some more goons and corrupt Sarpanch and kill them and hang them on the tree claiming it to be suicide and this also starts a chain reaction where corrupt people are killed in similar manner elsewhere. Abha is frustrated unable to control these illegal killings and tries to control it. B.N. Singh gets injured when ganged upon and attacked. But in a final show down Bablu Pandey also dies and closes the circle of political corruption.

Priyanka Chopra as SP Abha Mathur IPS
Prakash Jha as Bhola Nath Singh aka B.N. Singh
Manav Kaul as MLA Babloo Pandey
Murli Sharma as Munna Mardani
Pranay Narayan as Ratnakar
Rahul Bhat as Pawan Raghav
Kiran Karmarkar as Ramakant Chowdhary
Ninad Kamat as W. Pandey
Vega Tamotia as Sunita
Ayush Mahesh Khedekar as Nagesh
Jagat Singh as Amreek Tiwari
Tanmaay Ranjan as Sujeet
Mikhail Yawalkar as SP Naveen Chandra
Queen Harish as Dancer in drag
Vipin singh as IG
Ankush Bali as Motipehalwan


Rajeev Masand gave the film 2.5 stars out of 5, mentioning it as a predictable police drama filled with the usual stereotypes but added that Priyanka Chopra and Prakash Jha's performances engaging. Shubhra Gupta from The Indian Express gave only 1.5 stars, writing "Priyanka Chopra's too-sophisticated unmade-up-make-up is very distracting, even in her few convincing moments. And the film goes on for far too long, even when we know how all of it will end." However,she was all praise for Prakash Jha's full-fledged role. Srijana Mitra Das from The Times of India gave the film 3.5 stars. She praised the dialogues,editing and story, writing,"It weaves together crucial contemporary threads – land mafias, corrupt netas, broker-cops, broken farmers-with Jha's enduring concern about vigilante justice." She applauded Priyanka Chopra's performance, writing, "Priyanka Chopra shines as 'Madam Sir' Abha Mathur, whose lightning slaps and lathi charges have you applauding. This is a polished, restrained Priyanka, who barely smiles but conveys the ethics and empathy of the law." She commended Rahul Bhat's cameo and the dynamics between BN and Dablu but was disappointed with Manav Kaul's performance in particular. Rohit Vats of Hindustan Times gave 2.5 stars, writing, "Jai Gangaajal is just another attempt at making a blockbuster, but it lacks the depth of Gangaajal and Apharan. Still, there's enough for the audience to keep whistling and clapping." According to him,Prakash Jha is restrained in dialogue delivery and really effective in emotional scenes. He wrote that the storyline doesn't offer anything that haven't seen before but it has tear-inducing moments with explosive dialogues. Bollywood Hungama gave 3 stars out of 5, mentioning the screenplay engaging, cinematography decent, editing praiseworthy, dialogues excellent. As for the performances, Priyanka Chopra delivers a superlative performance, be it her perfect and impeccable timing or her intimidating screen persona and presence but Prakash Jha pushes himself a bit too hard to get the nuances and the finer points of his character. Writing for NDTV, Saibal Chatterjee gave 2.5 stars, saying, "Despite the topical themes it tackles and all the supercharged action that unfolds on the screen, Jai Gangaajal never really kicks into top gear

When it comes to directing of films belonging to the 'political thriller' genre, Prakash Jha has been very good at it. JAI GANGAAJAL only acts as yet another testimony to the same. While the story establishes itself in the engaging first half, the second half revolves around the confrontation between Priyanka Chopra and corrupt villains. In the second half, the camera is not on Priyanka Chopra, but on Prakash Jha, which totally takes focus away from the central character. Despite all the odds, Prakash Jha manages somehow to keep the viewers on the hooks with his engaging narrative.

The storyline of Jai Gangaajal doesn’t offer anything that you haven’t seen before. This holds true even if you have watched only Prakash Jha’s films. But, it has tear-inducing moments and Priyanka Chopra ensures they keep coming at regular intervals. Once again, the dark underbelly of the Hindi heart land has been explored with explosive dialogues and superficial sensibilities.
Jai Gangaajal is just another attempt at making a blockbuster, but it lacks the depth of Gangaajal and Apharan. Still, there’s enough for the audience to keep whistling and clapping. Priyanka Chopra is the new ‘Dabangg’.