Archive for movienomics

Chennai Express Box Office Review and Updates—All Time Industry Hit!

inkenti-logoFirst things first, Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) starrer Chennai Express is what in Tollywood is fondly referred to as the following: ALL-TIME INDUSTRY HIT!!! In his 21st year of Bollywood career, SRK has delivered a film that has re-written all box office records and established new benchmarks—all sectors, centers, and countries. The crown of Box Office King is for him to keep for the next five years, irrespective of how many remake-hits Salman and Akshay make and regardless of how much Aamir Khan and Hrithik try to select perfect scripts.

The Openings: SRK’s films are always fighting several demons. At this point in his career, and similarly in the past, but it has never been so strong, SRK’s biggest challenge was: how to re-invent after being successful for 20 years? This is a common syndrome for superstars. Salman Khan, in particular, found his answer in the quintessential South-Indian Hero. SRK, to his credit, tried to reinvent himself but was always let down by poor story like DON 1 and 2 [I hope there is no 3], Ra.One. SRK’s disassociation with the supremely talented Farah Khan who gave him Main Hoon Na and Om Shanthi Om (which if they released today are both 200 Crore plus movies!) also cost him a lot. The Top 10 lists of record breaking movies has been dominated by Salman Khan films post Dabangg. Thus, not only did SRK have to deliver a good film that satisfies his fans, but also one that pleases the general audience. And implicitly, he had to break the records of Ek Tha Tiger. And I am sure, much to surprise of UTV, SRK, Rohit Shetty, SRK’s fans and even Salman Khan—Chennai Express has simply cruised through at 200 Crores in the first seven days. And with this SRK can keep his crown.

The Product: Lets be honest here, all of us. Chennai Express is not a supreme product in terms of story…at least, nothing compared to 3 Idiots. But again, India is diverse country with different socio-economic groups each liking different kinds of movies—that is why we can have blockbusters like 3 Idiots and Dabangg and Yeh Jaawani–three really different movies, all occupy top positions. At the end of the day, Chennai Express did what every movie is anyway supposed to do: entertain. Period.

Why is it such a success: I have been reading since the past one week several critics and analysts write about this. They also seem to be giving the credit to Rohit Shetty, which he surely deserves, but not in entirety. I would argue that this is far from the truth. Although Rohit Shetty enjoys the status of having the maximum number of 100 crore club movies, how many of us will go and buy a DVD of these movies for home viewing? None! In fact, Chennai Express is Rohit Shetty’s best film to date and that is because he adapted his style to suit the image and charisma of SRK. It is not the other way round as others claim. This is not the first time SRK has played the bungling fool or common man turned hero because of love. But I do want to thank Rohit Shetty for one thing—for not signing up Kareena Kapoor, else this would have been Ra. One all over again! With this film, the one common theme between SRK and Salman is: we will see more South Indian movie adaptations and hopefully SRK will realize that he really needs to focus on the India market and masses. For this, I will thank Salman Khan for making it apparent to the Bollywood box office that: the masses matter.

The SRK Theory: I have an SRK theory. I told my neighbor, the day Chennai Express trailer released that it will be a hit. why? there are three elements needed for a full-fledged SRK Blockbuster: mother sentiment, blood oozing out from the mouth in a fight sequence, and a running scene in long shot. When I saw the blood-from-mouth scene in the trailer I knew it would be a hit. Chennai Express had a dadi-dada sentiment (so this is close to mother sentiment), but no long-shot of SRK running. If it had then it would have been an even bigger hit!!!

Anyways, the biggest reason why Chennai Express is doing so well is because of the following: the Indian Rupee and stock market are bleeding, there is political and policy paralysis in the nation, cross-border fighting, a naval submarine that just blew up and nobody knows why, states fighting to be united and to be split, and a silent TB epidemic that is raging parts of India…in the midst of all this…the silly humor that Chennai Express provides seems like gold. Go Enjoy!

I sincerely hope SRK’s future movies are focused in India (left to Karan Johar this would have been Copenhagen Express!), cater to the masses, and adheres to the SRK theory.


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Attarrintiki Daaredi Audio Function: The Making of Power Star is Now Complete!

inkenti logoTo fully understand and appreciate a phenomenon in its live context, it is best advised to visits its antecedents. The phenomenon I examine in this article is the making of Pawan Kalyan as a Power Star in the context of his latest film directed by Trivikram Srinivas titled Attarrintiki Daaredi. My first encounter with Pawan Kalyan was when I watched Badri at Sandhya 35mm, RTC X Roads–it had way passed the 100 days mark by then. In fact, the reason why I sauntered into the theater was because of Ameesha Patel [remember Kaho Na Pyaar Hai…?]. I laughed at one of the banners that read loud and clear: POWER STAR PAWAN KALYAN and remarked to my friend that Telugu hero fans are nuts…every silly hero seems to have a star title. However, 30 minutes into the film and I have been a Pawan Kalyan fan since then. This was one the eve of my leaving India to pursue undergraduate studies in the United States. Thirteen years or so have been passed since then and now Pawan Kalyan has been made into a Power Star, there are apparently now Pawanisms and now his fans are Power Star fans, not Mega-Power fans anymore. How did this happen?

johnnySeveral factors—intended and unintended—have contributed to the making of the Power Star. Firstly, I am not sure if there is any other hero or actor whose stardom has grown every year with every movie that failed to reach its box-office expectations. You will notice that none of Pawan Kalyan’s films ever formally introduced him as Power Star; the first time I remember seeing this was when Annavaram released. Both the journey up to Kushi [2001] and from Johnny [2003] to Panjaa [2011] are unique in Tollywood—he was the super-duper star at the time of Kushi [2001], then he delivered an all-time disaster which is considered by many of his hardcore fans as a classic, Johnny [2003], and then all the way till Panjaa [2011] his movies didn’t deliver at the box office the way they were supposed to, but with each movie  his stature only grew. This filmography makes Pawan Kalyan a unique entity. It was precisely during this period of 2003 to 2011 that the Power Star was made and remember, this was happening even as the unmaking of the Mega-Star was unfolding. A void was being created and simple laws of nature would suggest that any void has to be filled and this was being filled by Pawan Kalyan. It finally took a young fan and director, a crazy and young producer, another crazy young music director and a Hindi film whose soul was essentially a south-indian film to fully and completely resurrect Pawan Kalyan after almost a decade. And what a resurrection it was! what a pleasure it was for one and all to see Pawan Kalyan in his elements in Gabbar Singh. By now, the unmaking of Mega-Star was completed, a definite space existed to be filled, and with the universal success of Gabar Singh…the making of Power Star was complete.

Once this process is complete, then everything that Pawan Kalyan did in the past becomes legendary and can be used to construct and consolidate the current pawan_kalyan_gabbar_singh_sstature. For this, I want you to listen carefully to Trivikram’s speech [here is the link the five encounters with Pawan Kalyan. More than films, it is Pawan Kalyan’s character that is constructed to be full of sincerely and integrity, which are the sources of his power. Notice that his character elevation is in direct contrast to that of this elder brother’s [who along with this brother-in-law merged his political party with its opposition, remember?] whom he once openly revered. Today, every act of Pawan Kalyan’s however irrational it may have been when it happened is now part of a perfect script that made the power star he is today—whether it is Johnny or the Common Man Protection Force. Today, a Pawan Kalyan fan is a proud Power Star fan, not a Mega-Power fan, and the space necessary in the industry to host this heavy weight star-power has been created. Ram Charan and Allu Arjun have not taken off as they seem to busy hacking people to death rather than focussing on stories at this young age. Mahesh Babu’s five year haitus from movies only helped Pawan Kalyan’s star power. Jr. NTR too seems confused as to how to move forward. With Gabbar Singh and with an apparent unconditional love for Pawan Kalyan from the movie masses…he is all set to become the Numero Uno Star.

What makes Pawan Kalyan’s star shine ever brighter with each movie [hit or miss] is that he simply forgets about the movie after its release and is just busy gardening. He literally implements the Bhagwad Gita philosophy….only hard work is in your hands, not the result. So we didn’t see him support Johnny neither did we see him boast Gabbar Singh. In this hyper-active media society, a media-shy star is even more alluring to his fans. Simple economic theory, right? a scarce resource is more valuable: that is why fans just will not let him speak when he holds he microphone! for more than a minute fans cheer him and his apparent shyness adds to the emotions. We saw this happen during the most recent audio function as well . Notice, however, that Pawan Kalyan’s presence at functions is slowly rising, but his presence and his speeches are considered special. It is baffling for fans to see how a stage-shy person can set the silver screen on fire with energy and whose actions are so unconditionally based on a value system.

wp-7atharintikidaaredi800Thus, the construction of Pawan Kalyan as a concept is complete. He is now a Power Star. A solo star who in the eyes of the masses is someone who helps the needy, has a simple life, and more importantly now is keen to build a career post-Gabbar Singh. A star who is not interested in amassing wealth, does not care for records and stands for his values. Yes, of course, the lion looks clean shaven, smart and ready to kick-ass at the box-office. By the way, does anyone remember that Ram Charan’s movie is releasing a week before Attarrintiki Daaredi? No? thats what I thought. Also, be sure Chennai Express from Mumbai to Rameswaram will not have any passengers the weekend of August 7th in Andhra Pradesh.

I will continue to write this series of articles up till and after the release of Attarrintiki Daaredi.

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Why This Kolaveri Di is Not Really a Classic

Ok, so Why this Kolaveri Di is a now a rage of the (you-tube) nation. Since I am really out of India, I am not sure if this is the rage outside of the yuppy-you-tube nation; are the auto-wala’s playing this song? have they written Kolaveri Di behind their autos? The song has been covered by TIME, BBC, and has got the fascination of just about anything and everything: Sonu Nigam’s little kid has done a version, there is a version of it for the Sharad Pawar Slap scene, and even Pawan Kalyan fans–perhaps, piognantly aware that hits have long left their hero have created a Kolaveri video based on the smash-hit Tammudu song. I also believe my wife loves this song because her friend and cousin Lavanya forwarded it to her; I can be assured that had I told her like I do for many songs she would never have been raving about this! Anyways, in  this article I argue why this klaveri is not really a classic…not really the rage of the nation songs we had in the past.

Firstly, Javed Akhtar’s slamming of the song is unwarranted. His main contention is that it lowers the discourse of state of songs and lyrics. Why contention is to Mr. Akhtar is: so what?…In my living memory, there have been a few rage-of-the-nation songs. I remember it was Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast from Mohra, then there was Muqala Muqabaala from Kaadalan. As you can see, only less than a handful enter into my rage-of-the-nation list. These songs transcended language boundaries capturing everyone’s imagination. At this stage these songs are applied to our daily conscious lives and they become and here I refer to M. Night Shyamalan’s quote “cultural phenomenon” [remember The Sixth Sense’s “I see dead people” ]. Both these songs had lyrics which perhaps Mr. Javed Akhtar would not have liked “mast mast…” “muqala muqabaala….” [the later song had a line in Telugu which went something like “cow-boy cheyi kudithe, vollu antha sex ayindi gundello fix sexily sung by the late Swarnalatha”]; these lyrics strike directly at the heart of the masses and they love it [again, by masses here i do not refer to a particular socio-economic class, masses just reads ‘the majority’]. Another song, though not a rage-of-the-naiton but surely a super-duper-hit which had Bollywood intellectuals up in arms is for Rahman’s Telephone Dhun Me Hasine Wali…The bottom line is, Why this klavern di is a rage is precisely  because of its lyrics more than the song itself [I come to this point later]. Lines like….scotch in hand, tear in eyes, god i am dying now…she is happy how…pure and simple lyrics. Brilliant. There are times when such simplicity is needed and we must enjoy these and not crib about it. Of course, now there will be several Kolaveri type songs and trust me they will all go down the drain so finally the quality of lyrics is important, but sometimes some silly lyrics are good.

Next, why I think Kolaveri Di is not really a classic rage is because of the following: where is the song? The above mentioned two songs became the rage for the tune, music, dance, setting,…it was a whole package. But here, we have a virtual reality and I am not a fan of virtual reality and virtual relationships [my clear reference to social networking sites]. All we have is a really well doctored HD quality video  uploaded onto where everybody is trying to be natural and cool even thought they know it is being choreographed. With a totally incompetent Shruti Haasan and if I remember her disastrous Telugu movie with Siddharth this girl just can’t dance [both mast mast and muqaala were all about the dances…hmm…the hot Raveena and Nagma]. How have they shot the song? will it disappoint?…only time will tell. So as of now, why this klaveri di is a rage is because of its lyrics and because it is only limited to the virtual world, I don’t think it is a full-fledged classic song in its true and traditional sense. 

On a much lighter note, I shivered and shuddered at the sign of seeing that the movie is written and directed by Aiswarya Dhanush!!! Oh my God!!!….what happened when Kiran Rao directed that Amair Khan movie…i am even forgetting the movie…it was a stupid art-house movie, what happened when Pawan Kalyan allowed himself to write and direct Johnny; this career went down the drain and it still stinks of Johnny, what happened when Shah Rukh Khan decided to get fully involved in this movies: we got Ra.One—bollywood’s big horror and disaster movie!….Dhanush is a really talented guy and I can totally understand his situation…can he say anything if Mrs, Dhanush says she wants to direct a film with him?!….what would I say if my wife wanted to make a movie with me?!…ahhha!….

I fear this movie will go down the Johnny way….but I do hope Dhanush fans are not left asking ‘why this aiswarya directed the movie?!…’

here’s wishing that the song in its true and traditional sense is a hit [but it is highly unlikely because the tune is so popular now that any form of it may fall short of its current rage] and so is the movie. Till then, enjoy the you-tube video!

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Ra.One Review and Box Office and Public Opinion

Ok, for those familiar, I return to blogging after a really long time. Only a movie like Ra.One could compel me to take time out of a schedule where I have no time other than to read, write, eat and sleep. So, here goes…

Two people, Director Shankar (from Tamil filmdom who only directs mega-budget commercial entertainers, like Robot, Indian etc) and Bollywood Mass Star Salman Khan, must be laughing their asses off looking at what has been happening with Ra.One in the last five days…

Ra.One Movie Review: Sometime in the recent past, Director Shankar, who loves directing big budget movies with high commercial value and low story value [except Indian], but produces low budget high story movies, and Shahrukh Khan (SRK) were in talks for a hi-tech/sci-fi/robots kinda movie. The talks fell through, Shankar made it with Rajikanth [Robot, a huge hit, but with a story the size of a pea] and SRK announced Ra.One. Now, I can probably re-construct what actually happened.

I always jitters whenever I would hear SRK  say he is making a super-hero film for his kids [I mean, its just silly.]. Clearly, SRK’s son Aryan loves video games and SRK wanted to make a movie where video games is the central theme. Director Shankar, being more rooted and grounded to the masses obviously thought it was a silly idea and so SRK rejected the commercially viable script presented by Shankar. Today, Shankar must be laughing watching this joke of a film; Ra.One neither has a head nor a tail and it is has certainly taken Indian cinema to a new level…of stupidity.

I will save myself the torture of having to revisit the story. What is it anyway? Father, Mr. Goofy SRK, wants to impress his son by making a devious video game where the villain is stronger than hero. The villain is programmed with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and soon enough Ra.One, the video game villain, comes into the real world to kill the guy who is able to defeat him (SRK’s son). So far, so good—concept is fine, but how to translate this concept into a feature film? What is the plot? This is where the movie goes all wrong. The director, Anubhav Sinha, has no track record and his past movies and this one just go to prove that he is more of an action sequence choreographer than anything else. The real director of this film seems to be SRK, who just was in love with this concept and ended up making a mockery of the direction.

To put it mildly, the direction was just childish and immature, which begs me to wonder who directed it? SRK, his son Aryan, Anubhav Sinha, or Karan Johar? What was the need for SRK to be cast as a like a goofy Tamilian? So Ra.One and G.One run riot on the streets of London and there seem to be no cops! [all watching some Bollywood movie in London perhaps!]. What was the need to show Victoria Terminal collapse?—could G.One have stopped the train inside rather than do it outside? What was the need for that gay-scene at the airport?—just reinforces further speculation among anti-SRK groups that he is indeed oriented differently [not that there is anything wrong with that!]; what was happening with all that Tamilian family thing with Satish Shah? Couldn’t they even figure out what happened to the goofy tamilian SRK? So his chief architect of the game is dead and the company’s boss Dilip Tahil seem clueless! nobody even visits the lab’s wreckage after Ra.One comes out…..phew….the list of illogical stuff abound.

Actors need to understand that a successful actor is the product of the creativity of a story writer and a director. All of SRK’s super classic hits are products of the director’s vision. Just because you have money and love a concept [a villain comes out of the virtual world to the real world to wreck havoc] and put together a few action sequences under the supervision of a Hollywood technician—doesn’t make a movie. Ra.One lacks all the basic elements even an average SRK movie had which made watching his movies enjoyable even thought the story line was not strong [i can think of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi…]

India’s best superhero movie, in my view, is Mr. India. What a fantastic script! Don’t we have issues plaguing the poor and middle classes in India where a superhero of sorts could help? I mean, come on video games? please give me a break. SRK and Anubhav Sinha and SRK’s sycophant group totally forgot the most fundamental rule of a super-hero movie: whether it is Mr. India or Batman,a super-hero’s context exists only in saving a group of peoples. By breaking this rule, Ra.One has no context and it is not grounded in reality.

To sum it up, as I don’t have any more time than this to write: Ra.One is an embarrassing moment in the life of any self-respecting SRK fan. Remember Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani…, Badshah, Asoka, and now add Ra.One. It has taken Hindi cinema to a new level…a new level of stupidity. SRK should now travel to the places he visited and issue a public apology for making such a ridiculous movie with Windows Media Player type VFX and for falsely promoting this as a super-hero movie.

Mr. Inkenti’s Movienomics Verdict: Two Thumbs Down!


Ra.One Box Office Report and Public Opinion:

So the other man who must be laughing his ass off is Mr. Salman Khan. It is no coincidence that Ra.One also had a five-day extended weekend just like Salman Khan’s Bodyguard. SRK wanted to prove a point that the only reason Salman Khan has given back-to-back blockbuster is because SRK has been away from the scene.

From the first minute of its release, ironically for SRK the Ravan for his Ra.One was really Salman Khan. Ra.One released in 1000 or more additional screens compared to Bodyguard or maybe more, it has a 3D version, inflated ticket prices, holidays, but still the shocker came: Bodyguard holds the first day opening record. This is a major blow to SRK. All bets were off. SRK probably thought that Ra.One will beat Bodyguard‘s record by a mile [please…diwali puja etc are all just excuses.].

Ra.One‘s five day total is also below Bodyguard‘s five day total. Sure, the economics of movies has changed so even a Tees Maar Khan or Golmaal 3 will make collection records, but does that mean anything? In particular, you think SRK will be happy with the fact that Ra.One will be safe for Eros International? He wanted Bodyguard’s head, but he didn’t get it. Period. End of discussion.

The hype is that Ra.One is a 150 Crore budget film, so my question is how much was it sold for to Eros?—how much table profit did Red Chillies make? at least 50 Crores? So what is a hit then?—Shouldn’t Ra.One earn 200 crores and upwards for Eros? But like I said, SRK has lost this battle with Salman Khan when Ra.One couldn’t cross, with all this hype and hoopla, the first record of a simple hero film with a simple story that the masses can relate to and enjoy.

I am sure Salman Khan is laughing away in this typical style…sure, just like SRK he maybe unable to believe that Ra.One couldn’t beat Bodyguard’s records. I expect to see a steep fall in Ra.One’s collections and that is not only because of its overscreening, but more because of its poor content.

Public Talk:

Ra.One‘s public talk is negative.  From my driver to my sister to my father…talk is negative. Sure, this is not a representative sample, but it I will stand by my findings. My wife’s facebook account shows that all her friends are joking about Ra.One and infact mocking at it they way Telugu’s mock a Balakrishna movie!

It is high time SRK realized that he came to stardom making movies that the masses could relate to. Now, he is at risk of losing his stature because he is making movies that masses cannot relate to. Kabhi Alvida Na Kehana, My Name is Khan are some examples; perhaps even the upcoming Don 2 looks to foreign. The recent success of Aamir Khan and Salman Khan is only because they are making movies grounded in India’s context. Nothing wrong to be an international star, but there is no charm of being that when you’re losing ground at home. Today, an SRK film is a scary thought and an Aamir Khan film means good content and a Salman Khan film means good entertainment.

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TEENMAAR Movie Review— A Face Saving Effort

Like many of his fans, my patience had waned and with Komaram Puli I was disgusted. Brand Pawan Kalyan was almost over. Somebody should learn from the man as how to systematically trash their career. For those who are invested in Pawan Kalyan, the stock has never reached the highs of Kushi and it is close to a decade now. What do you do with a stock like this?—SELL it, ABONDON it! I was ready to sell this stock, but then Teenmaar’s songs gave some ray of hope. To begin with, I didn’t like Love Aaj Kal, which I thought was such a yuppy movie and was dismayed to learn that Pawan Kalyan has agreed for the remake. But the man is most famous for making changes that click [more on this later]. With six good songs on hand, I decided to hold the stock, went for the first day first show at Odeon Deluxe [was disappointed it was not at Sandhya], threw confetti, cheered and by 1:40pm that day it was clear that the entire team has put up a face saving effort [read average].

The concept of the film is great: to compare and contrast the process of falling in love from two different eras; unlimited potential. The hindi version was produced by Saif Ali Khan so it was meant essentially for a multiplex crowd–get your collections in the first weekend and thats that. Going into the film, I was expecting to see some significant changes, but was shocked to see that Teenmaar is a faithful remake of its original. Did the team [read Trivikram] really think that just by having a Kasi backdrop, it will provide the nativity?  I saw the first 30 minutes in absolute horror: the movie moves slowly, without a story, no interesting scenes and why the f**k was Pawan Kalyan doing the spot dubbing [the Johnny ghost definitely has not gone]? The film picks up pace only when Arjun Palwai enters and then again picks up steam towards the last 20 minutes only thanks to Trisha’s superb performance.

A gem of a concept has gone wasted. Perhaps, Pawan Kalyan was too petrified to suggest changes given his track record since Johnny. The only saving grace of the film is the music and full credit to Manisarma. Zero points to Jayanth for simply copy-pasting, zero points to Trivikram for just thinking that writing witty one-lines will make the film click, and zero points to Pawan Kalyan for being an ass with the spot dubbing and over-acting. Of course, thank you Trisha for being the only beautiful thing about the film. With no major changes to adapt it to the local context and devoid of any interesting sequences, the film barely manages to satisfy. We are shown Pawan Kalyan’s parents only in the first 5 minutes, what happens after that? I can’t even think of any blockbuster [Hindi or Telugu] where the parents/family element does not play a critical role. Next, what about the comedy? Can a telugu film succeed without comedy?—in fact, it can succeed with just comedy and no story. Ali is only there for a few minutes and makes us laugh. Next, what was the need to have a Cape town backdrop? don’t youngsters in our Indian metros date?

Content-wise, the movie suffers big time and it just cannot sustain itself. To its credit, the story shows Pawan Kalyan in a way that will make the fans happy: Arjun Palwai’s character, Basti Dorasani song [thanks so much Pawan for shaking your leg], and the really smart suits in New York. Even with all this disappointment, I have seen the film thrice only because there is a sheer pleasure of seeing Pawan Kalyan on screen. Indeed, there is a certain charm about him and thats what helps him sustain his stardom. At one level, I feel bad for Pawan Kalyan—his career till Kushi is the envy of any hero, but that after that he is just a mess. I still say Gudumba Shankar would have clicked had it released four-six months after Kushi. Clearly confused after that he did movies that he just didn’t believe in [mafia don killing people in Balu, applying gandham on face and hacking people to death in Annavaram, and a seema-backdrop film called Bangaram]. Only God knows why he did Puli. At least, in Teenmaar it is clear that Pawan Kalyan is enjoying what he is doing and it shows.

At the box office, the movie will recover costs to all parties concerned, but fans will be disappointed as it cannot become a super-hit, leave alone being a hit. While at Odeon on the first day, I was talking to some guy who was telling me why he thinks Pawan Kalyan is a Power Star. He said that during Kushi, Sandhya 70mm sold black tickets till the 50 days or more and today those guys who sold black tickets are proud owners of autos! My secretary recalls that during his inter days he and his friends would visit Sandhya 70mm to see Toliprema once a week and dance on the seats! Will these days ever return for Pawan Kalyan and his fans and for the audience in general? It hasn’t for a  decade now, but I will still hold on to this stock. I really wish Pawan Kalyan does different movies: his Shadow with a Tamil director in lines of a thriller is a welcome change and then there is the remake of Dabang, which is already pre-destined to open with a bang! [i really hope they make the right changes]

Now that the Big 4 have faded [Chiru, Balakrishna, Nagarjuna, and Venkatesh], Pawan Kalyan (was and) is the next best bet among the remaining asses that Tollywood has to boast off.

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I Hate LUV Storys Review— I Didn’t Like This LUV Story

After watching Ravaan you are sure to say I Hate Movies, but the promos of I Hate LUV Storys (IHLS) looked promising enough to erase the memories of Bollywood’s biggest disaster film Ravaan. Youthful songs, familiar banner, youthful lead pair, and a  movie backdrop I was almost sure this film if nothing else will at least be fun to watch. The first sequence IHLS is truly funny, but then you soon realize this is just another film which displays Karan Johar’s obsession with SRK, SRK-love stories, Yash Raj etc. Indulging and soaked totally in SRK love stories, IHLS is a totally dumb movie and is meant only for the Indian American teenage market.

Jay (Imran Khan) does not believe in the concept of love [towards the end we learn that that is because his parents divorced after a love marriage] and thus hates all love stories.  Just for having his name on his resume, Jay works for Veer (Sameer Soni) who is a famous love-story film director and desists every scene Veer narrates and makes faces sitting through all the meetings at office. Simran (Sonam Kapoor) is totally in to love stories, the concept of love and magic, and is currently enjoying that magic with her childhood sweetheart Raj [didn’t we already have such a character called Mahi in Bachna Ae Haseeno?]! Simran also is in to the movie industry and gets an offern from Veer to be his art director. Jay is assigned to work under Simran. Begin a dosti, which turns in to love from Simran’s side even though she is engaged to Raj.

Apparently, Simran begins to feel that Mr. Wrong, Jay, is more fun to be around with than her Mr. Perfect, Raj. But Jay doesn’t love Simran who is now heart broken and goes back to reconciling herself to Mr. Perfect. Post-intermission we see Jay going through all the symptoms of a love struck teenager and is now determined to confess his love for Simran and acknowledge that yes, there is magic and there is love in this world.

To make a 16 reel film without any story or plot is no easy job, but director Punit Malhotra is a already a specialist in making films without a story right from film #1! The film is full of unconvincing sequences. There is no context for the characters to become who they are. Simply, we are shown to believe that Simran is an art director for movies. No solid reason is shown to justify Simran’s turn of affections towards Jay. Some bullshit Mr. Perfect and Mr. Wrong theory is created to justify it. Does Jay only desist the love stories of the 90s, which were mainly dominated by the SRK-Yash Raj-Johar trio or does not like even the classic love stories? The degree of sycophancy depicted through this film makes me wanna puke. Throughout the entire film we see and hear tunes, dialogues, references etc from SRK love stories. There is nothing new or original worth its name in IHLS. Clearly, Mr. Karan Johar is living in a world of his own. In his world, all Indians and citizens of the planet dream about and live in Karan Johwar and Yash Raj movies.

The degree of stupidity of this script is indicative that Mr. Karan Johwar things the audience are just dumb and all that they want to watch are good looking faces and sets. I sometimes wonder how rootless our movies have become. Who is making these films and for whom are we making them? IHLS from start to end seems to have been made only for the Indian American teenage market. For example, the director’s office lacks any signs of native touch. How will our masses relate to such films? How will they do business beyond the third day? Would 3 Idiots have collected 203 crores share had it been shot in London or New York?! I am sure Karan Johar would have done that. The guy has forgotten his two big hits, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and K3G were rooted in India with a fully indian context and even till today he is surviving by invoking those tunes and scenes. Go get another life man or just quit movies.

The film opens with a scene out of DDLJ, which receives whistles and cheers from the masses at Ramakrishna 35mm. To the film’s credit there are quite of a few scenes which evoke cheers and laughter, but all of them are sitcom type scenes. Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor give a decent performance. Imran Khan just can’t dance and struggles to find the right expression. There is no ease in this body language. He was much better in his debut film. Sonam Kapoor is so thin with all her bones sticking out that at one point she resembled a crow! Throughout the film she looked artificially good…like a model in a LUX soap ad. She looks weird at times. sometimes she looks good [her eyes are nice], but sometimes her expressions are stupid.

The biggest problem with IHLS is that it lives constantly in a world of references. A few here and there are fine, but not an entire film. In addition, there is no plot, story, or special characterizations or characters, which makes the film boring at several points. Fortunately, the film does not drag. As the guy who puts the Rs. 20/- ticket under my car’s wiper at the parking lot of Ramakrishna Gliterrati told me, IHLS is good for one watch. Mind you, it is good for one watch only if you are a Shahrukh Khan, Yash Raj, or Karan Johar fan. Even though I love SRK films, after a point the references got to my nerves. There is also a scene where a board titled DHARMA PRODUCTIONS is garlanded [second half]. Now cummon Mr. Johar, just because no one else will ever honor your banner in their movies that does not mean you garland your own banner in a movie produced by your banner!

IHLS looks great like a TV show. Time pass watch for once. Surely, it will help you erase memories of Ravaan!

Mr. Inkenti’s Movienomics Verdict: Thumbs Down.

Mrs. Inkenti’s Rating: 3/5

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RAAVAN [Telugu] Review— A Hopeless and Useless Film!

Mr. Inkenti’s Express Review: Some ceremonies going on at home and thus do not have the time to write a full fledged review.

In spite of the busy activities at home, managed to gather a group of cousins to watch the film at 6pm at Ramakrishna 70mm. Quick highlights of the film:

  • amazingly boring
  • no story, no depth in characterizations, no sense in the proceedings
  • disappointing music
  • too much of screeching
  • Only Vikram’s [as Raavan in Telugu version] performance is good [can’t imagine Abhishek Bachchan’s incompetent acting in this otherwise incompetent film]
  • It is an insult to compare this piece of crap to the epic
  • a few good locales
  • Mani Ratnam should re-invent or quit making movies. and surely must stop making movies with Mr. and Mrs. Bachchan Jrs
  • an utter flop film
  • after the film, while walking out you can hear all the audience expressing disbelief over how Mani Ratnam could have made such a bogus movie

Mr. Inkenti’s Movienomics Verdict: Two Thumbs Down!

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