Monday, August 3, 2009

Luck review

Don't push your 'Luck'

Starring: Imran Khan, Shruti Haasan, Sanjay Dutt, Mithun Chakraborty, Danny Denzongpa, Ravi Kissen, Chitrashi
Directed by: Soham Shah
Stars: 1 ½

Knowing that the director of Luck is the same guy who directed the god awful Kaal, one was always going to tread with some caution. And yet, this film from the Shree Ashtavinayak (the production house that gave another big dud in the form of Kidnap last year) stunningly manages to lower the bar further, coming up with a film that is both silly and revolting.

We know of films that progressively get bad but Luck wastes no time in this regard. So within less than a minute your heart sinks thinking of the torturous hours before you. The very first scene has Sanjay Dutt and a group of men hand-tied and blindfolded running through railway tracks even as a douzen trains go rushing by. Most of the men get killed and only Dutt survives. This is what Soham and Renzil D’Silva’s idea of luck in the film is!
Sample some more scenes meant to show you how Dutt is a lucky chap since childhood. He’s the only surviving kid in a riot or some such thing. In another scene as a child, he jumps from the fourth floor with his friends and ends up being the only one to live. This is the sort of crude definition Soham has for the word luck.

Moosa (Dutt) is into the business of bringing together ‘lucky’ guys (!) and pitting them against each other for a game show, where people can lay bets on them. It’s somewhat like a realty show on an island, except that here contestants even have to kill each other to survive.Now, who in their right minds would be part of something like this, even if they needed money badly? But there’s no use entertaining logical questions while watching this film, unless you want to frustrate yourself further.

Meanwhile, Ram (Imran Khan) is in urgent need of money after his father dies, leaving the family in severe debt. He has to arrange as much as 20 crores(!) or else his mom and him could be rendered homeless. So his ‘imaginative’ option is to go to the US and earn it quickly. But his Visa gets rejected and he comes up with more ‘creative’ ideas that we rather not go into.

Raghav (Ravi Kissen), a criminal, escapes his hanging due to a technical glitch. The writers of this film acquaint us that once a hanging goes wrong, the person cannot be hanged twice and has to be let off!! Nice!
Ram and Raghav are two among the others who finally come for the game show and therein begins one task after another – some scenes offer decent thrills but it’s mostly just a sickening experience.
The first half has to be the worst I have seen in a very long time. And you know the makers are really scraping the barrel when Mithun Chakraborty is made to spout his famous, ‘Koi shak’ again and again.

But Luck somewhat improves in the second half and that saves this from being an absolute disaster. Ravi Kissen is the sole entertaining character in the film and he does well. Sanjay Dutt plays these ‘dada -gunda’ type roles so often that there’s nothing left to be said anymore, except that he could desperately do with some change.
Shruti Haasan has clearly done this film for a lark. She’s not overly self-consciousness and comes with a certain casualness, which is welcome. But acting is not her forte.
Coming to Imran, it’s unfortunate that someone with such pleasant screen presence and decent acting talent is getting stuck in one bad film after another. He plays his part with restraint and does well in the action sequences.
The only other thing to recommend here is the music, which is good.Finally, what can one say? When films like these get made, you know that Bollywood is severely down on luck, as are audiences like us.
-Sandhya Iyer

Jashnn film review - Party's over!

Director: Raksha Mistry, Hasnain S
Starring: Adhyayan Suman, Shahana Goswami, Anjana Sukhani, Humayun Sayeed

Some parties are never meant to take off and Jashnn certainly is one. This is a snooze fest that keeps you awake sometimes only because you are stunned at the sheer inanity on display. It’s hard to believe that the Bhatts who are generally known to be quite proficient with their script selections could have actually green-lighted something as trite as this.

Akash (Adhyayan Suman) is an aspiring singer who lives with his sister Nisha (Shahana Goswami), an ex model who now lives as a rich man, Aman Bajaj’s (Pakistan import Humayun Sayeed) mistress. Nisha keeps tolerating an abusive relationship with the man because she insists she got tired of being middle-class and roaming in an auto! So she instead roams around in the bungalow wearing skimpy clothes that look like they could slip off her chest anytime.
Meanwhile, Akash falls in love with Bajaj’s sister, Sara(Anjana Sukhani ). Bajaj is livid when he hears the truth and goes all out to destroy Akash’s dream of making it as a singer.

This is such a hackneyed script and in the hands of directors Raksha Mistry and Hasnain. S (The Train, The Killer), it’s almost an impossible film to watch. Both of them treat their characters with IQ levels that would shame even 5-year-olds. There’s no logic to any of the characters actions or motivations.

Like in all Bhatt films, the dialogues are probably the only bright spot but they are distributed so indiscriminately to the characters, that it doesn’t even ring true. Like you sit up when Bajaj says, ‘Jhagda tab karo jab jeetne ki umeed ho. Jhagda hamesha barabar walon mein hota hai’ But then, the film does just the opposite and what ensues is a fake drama, ending in Bajaj shedding copious tears watching Akash perform in the end. Before that, you have the latter stoically announcing, “Itni zillat ki barish ho gaye hai, ke hum kuch dhul se gaye hain” None of that dialoguebaazi, however, saves this disaster-of- a flick.
Adhyayan acts like he can’t believe he’s been offered such a meaty part and hams like crazy. There’s a smugness that is quite off putting about him. Anjanu Sukhani overacts too, but she’s decent enough here. Shahana - always so competent - is stuck with a role that doesn’t even make sense and is made to spout dialogues, ‘Main tangi hue gosht nahin banna chahti’
Overall, a film that should not be touched with a barge pole.
-- Sandhya Iyer