5 Must Watch Recent Hollywood Movies

It has been a while since I wrote a blog and I feel it is only apt that I end this drought with another one about my favorite topic, Movies!

This is a followup to one of my previous blogs 15 Must Watch Hollywood MoviesHere, I have tried to capture 5 Hollywood Movies that released in the recent times that I believe deserves a watch.

Once again this is a list completely based on my personal preferences. However, any feedback and suggestions are welcome.

Even though I have included the IMDB link’s and IMDB ratings for the movie, they list is not based on IMDB’s rankings!

[In Alphabetic Order]

Captain Phillips [2013]Captain Phillips

Genre: Biography, Drama, Thriller

IMDB Rating: 7.9/10

Trailer

Synopsis: The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.

Director: Paul Greengrass

Star Cast:  Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman

Tom Hanks as always delivers a stellar performance. The movie will keep you on the edge of your seat and is brilliantly directed. I looked it up on the internet after watching the movie and it is as close as it gets to the real story. This is a satellite picture of the real boat that was used during the hijacking.

Flight [2012]Flight

Genre: Drama, Thriller

IMDB Rating: 7.3/10

Trailer

Synopsis: An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Star Cast:  Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle

Denzel Washington delivers a cracker of a performance. The movie is primarily about the investigation that follows the crash and it is just brilliant, specially the last scene. No Spoilers!

Real Steel [2011]Real Steel

Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

IMDB Rating: 7.1/10

Trailer

Synopsis: Set in the near future, where robot boxing is a top sport, a struggling promoter feels he’s found a champion in a discarded robot. During his hopeful rise to the top, he discovers he has an 11-year-old son who wants to know his father.

Director: Shawn Levy

Star Cast:  Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Dakota Goyo

The Rocky meets Transformers. This movie is epic simply because it brings old school boxing with new age robots. Since it is set in the near future, it seems believable and the fights are just insane. The movie has a good mix of emotions, action, sci-fi and pure entertainment.

Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden [2012] Seal Team Six: The Raid On Osama Bin Laden

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

IMDB Rating: 5.6/10

Trailer

Synopsis: A group of Navy SEALs come to learn the identity of their target: Osama bin Laden.

Director: John Stockwell

Star Cast:  Cam Gigandet, Jenny Gabrielle, Anson Mount

Everyone has heard about Zero Dark Thirty but very few have heard of Seal Team Six. Seal Team Six is a TV Movie made by Nation Geographic. Unlike Zero Dark Thirty, which is slow and feels like a drag, Seal Team Six is slick, fast, real and really well shot. Seal Team Six primarily concentrates on the operation itself and not on the politics and the decision making behind the scenes.

Warrior [2011]Warrior

Genre: Drama, Sport

IMDB Rating: 8.2/10

Trailer

Synopsis: The youngest son of an alcoholic former boxer returns home, where he’s trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament – a path that puts the fighter on a collision corner with his older brother.

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Star Cast:  Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Joel Edgerton

A marine who wants to win a boxing championship to pass on the winnings to his friend’s wife who dies in front of his eyes on the battlefield.

A professor who wants to win a boxing championship to pass on the winnings to his family and secure their future.

What happens when they come face to face and how the drama unfolds. One of the best movies in recent times. Watch out for Tom Hardy, he is the next 007.

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ABCD aka AnyBody Can Dance > Movie Review

Image

I generally write movie reviews on Fridays itself but this is different simply owing to the fact that it was quite a surprise!

I was almost going to miss this movie as it did not really gets my pulse racing with its promotions and the fact that it released with Special 26 which has a few very big names associated with it did not help the cause either.

However, the movie is excellent. In fact it is safe to say that it is the best movie of 2013 so far. Miles ahead of Race 2!!!

The movie is as good as any Hollywood movie as far the dance is concerned, the story is better than most Hollywood dance movies. Most of them practically have the same story line. The acting could have been better, specially Prabhudeva’s performance could have been a much better, in fact I feel even Kay Kay Menon who is otherwise amazing, also could not do justice to his character, but I guess it is fair to say that the movie is fairly experimental in the Indian context and it would have been difficult to get the bigger names on board even with a Powerhouse like UTV backing the movie. By the ways Kudos to UTV for supporting such fresh talent.

The dancers in the movie who are primarily contestants of the Dance Reality Show on Zee Dance India Dance are brilliant in their dance and surprisingly good in their acting too. They have their flaws as far as the acting is concerned, but they more than make up for it with their dance.

Trust me, it is a much better movie than most movies that are in the current 100 Crore club and deserves a watch. It is up to us the audience to decide the quality of entertainment that we want to be served in the future. If more movies like Race 2 and Son of Sardar enter the 100 Crore club, then more movies like them are going to get made and we will only have ourselves to blame.

The 3D, Lights, Cinematography, etc… are awesome. All in all, the movie is awesome as far as the technical aspects are concerned.

The movie has a lot of heart and some truly amazing sequences.

Trust me, do not miss this one. It deserves a watch in the theaters in 3D!!

Score: 4.25/5

Movie Review – Skyfall

Excellent Casting – Yes

Superb Dialogues – Yes

Technically Sound – Yes

Great Performances – Yes

Exotic Locales – No

Multiple Adrenaline Pumping Chase Sequences – No

Bond Girls To Die For – No

A Larger Than Life Plot – No

Gadgets – No

Skyfall is an excellent movie but it is not a typical bond movie, if you can accept that fact and move on, you’ll love the movie or else you may have quite a lot of complains to make. Skyfall, unlike other Bond movies which are generally about larger than life super villains who are trying to paralyze the planet, is primarily about ‘M’. The movie focuses on her ability or the lack of it to head the MI6 operations and how both ‘M’ and ‘007’ need to look for succession planning. So much so that the villain, Silva played beautifully by Javier Bardem, is also primarily obsessed with making sure that ‘M’ is dead and MI6 destroyed. The movie is more about internal issues  of Mi6, ‘M’, ‘007’, ‘Silva’ and The British Government. It is definitely slimmer, meaner & darker.

The movie fails to enthrall the audiences like other Bond movies have due to the lack of multiple chase sequences which is a regular in bond films. There is one with which the movie opens and is without doubt awesome but don’t blame me if I expect more from a Bond film. The makers are the ones who got me hooked to it in the first place. The movie does not take you to exotic locations like other bond movies have done in the past. We’ve been to the North Pole, Russia, India, Korea, etc… in the past. I am sorry but i do not consider a crowded China street as exotic. The women fail to impress too. I mean look at the list Ursula Andress, Halle Berry, Barbara Bach, Denise Richards, Eva Green, etc… These women had meaty roles and added the glamour quotient just as easily but in Skyfall, the women appear to be, well, just eye candy! This movie, unlike all other bond films does not have a next-gen car to boast of either, instead it has an old Aston Martin that come to the rescue of M and Bond, which I kind of like as it goes back into the legacy of James Bond and Britain.

Now the good parts. The movie, otherwise, is a good watch. Judi Dench, Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes give excellent performances. Javier Bardem puts up an extremely impressive performance too but it is just that his character is not deep enough. It has not been explored enough. But he still manages to get a certain degree of madness into his role. Something that reminded me of ‘The Joker’ from the ‘The Dark Knight’.

The movie revisits Bond’s past rather fondly, specially, when 007 drives ‘M’ in that old Aston Martin. Technically the movie is excellent. A few camera angles are particularly outstanding. The movie appears fresh and more realistic but that is exactly where it goes against the flamboyant style of James Bond. Dialogues are good, a few of them particularly awesome, specially the one between ‘Q’ and ‘007’. The background score is awesome too. The title song ‘Skyfall’ performed bu Adele lives up to the brand name of Adele as well as 007. The movie also does have a artistic opening credits, something that the Bond movies are known for.

I would rate the movie 2.5 out of 5 and an extra 0.5 for the old world charm that this movie tries to visit so successfully. So, 3 out of 5 from me.

Review – Heroine

Kareena Kapoor gives a stellar performance. Kareena has been growing as an actor over the years and Heroine only proves that. Apart from that the movie boasts of a lot of other wonderful performances by Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Shahana Goswami, Divya Dutta & Ranvir Shorey. However the character actors are extremely poor  which also brings to light that Bhandarkar has traditionally not paid much attention to his Charachter actors. I mean, Page 3, Corporate, except Fashion, all his character actors were really poor at their job.

The story of the film is extremely bland and predictable. It has no dept at all. It seems that after Aishwarya walked out the film, the story was tweaked and in the process the nuances were lost. There is absolutely no attention to detail. The dubbing is flawed and is clearly visible, specially when character actors are speaking. The Music of the film is also not impressive. The much publicized song ‘Halkat Jawani’ is no where close to say a Sheela, Munni or a Chikni Chameli. The movie also lacks in scale, it does not appear like a big budget bollywood movie.

The movie is not as hard hitting or for that matter even as realistic as his previous outings have been. The movie uses cliches and cheap storytelling to take the story forward. The movie draws inspiration from various tabloids and gossips and just appears to be a glorification of the same.

The movie was avoidable but I would still give it a ‘Watchable’ rating, purely based on Kareena and the other mentioned actors’ performances.

Also Kareena looks extremely extremely pretty throughout the movie. A delight to watch.

Kya Super Kool Hain Hum – Review

There is not much to say…the movie is too desperate. It tries too hard to match the effortlessness of Kya Kool Hain Hum. The movie is funny in parts but overall the movie is built around PJ’s of astronomical heights. It is like the movie is trying to be an adult movie for the sake of it. There is a continuous barrage of cheap jokes too.

Tushar Kapoor (I refuse to use Tu’ss’har) as always a major disappointment. He tries hard to recreate the magic of his only good performance which is Golmaal. But as mentioned earlier, it reflects as a very desperate attempt on the part of Tushar to use his previous successful character to infuse substance in his role. Tushar needs acting classes…badly…

Sarah Jane does a decent job. She plays her part well but is overshadowed by Neha Sharma in a massive way.

Ritesh Deshmukh is a seriously talent actor with an amazing sense of comic timing. Ritesh pulls off a few scenes a dialogues which I bet no other actor can possibly pull off. Even this movie seems like one of those movies which Ritesh completely carries on his shoulders. Not only does he play his own part brilliantly but also makes up for others shortfall…only issue this time Tushar was way ahead of him and Ritesh could not make up for it. Someone mentioned ‘The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits’.

Neha Sharma stuns. She looks pretty and acts pretty decently actually. I am sure acting opposite Tushar made her job a tough act but she kinda managed to pull it off. I feel it is impossible for a woman to act as if she is in love with Tushar, but she does extremely well. I could watch the movie all over again, only for her.

Anupam Kher & Chunky Pandey play their roles rather efficiently. Anupam Kher specially does an awesome job.

Watch the movie if you have nothing better to do, in fact a look at Housefull 2 again would be more entertaining. However, you could watch the movie again for Neha Sharma, I will.

The Dark Knight Rises – Review

Ok, I promise to have no spoilers in this review; it is a plan simple review for the ones who are looking for an opinion.

The movie, though not one of Nolan’s finest, as he has been claiming over the past few weeks, is still a must watch. The legend of The Dark Knight finally ends and ends pretty well actually. Not every movie you make can achieve what ‘The Dark Knight’ did but if we leave the comparison out, the movie stands a pretty solid ground.

Christian Bale for some reason looks a little pale, a little old and honestly, not even remotely close to his portrayal of The Batman in ‘The Dark Knight’, he however does give decent performance otherwise.

Tom Hardy does well as Bane but The Joker is probably going to be the toughest act to follow up for any actor. But I still feel, Tom has given a stellar performance.

Anne Hathaway impresses too, as the hot & sexy Catwoman. Though I still feel she is not spicy enough for this role.

Seasoned actors like Michael Caine & Morgan Freeman never disappoint.

To me, however, the surprise factor and a very good addition to Nolan’s gang (if I may call it so) is Marion Cotillard. She, as always, delivers an awesome performance and looks extremely beautiful while she does it.

Even Levitt has given an extremely commendable performance.

The story or the characters are not as deep as The Dark Knight was but as mentioned above it is still above average.

Visually also the movie is not as colourful as The Dark Knight was, especially owing to the lack of the Purple of The Joker. This movie is more dark unlike the previous movie.

Nolan, however, fails to create the craziness in the character of Bane as he had so well managed with The Joker. Bane is intimidating but does not pack a punch the way the Joker did. You were never sure about anything with The Joker but that is not the case with Bane. In simple terms Joker was a legend, Bane is not.

The movie is kind of sluggish in the first half but later you realize it was the build up. The movie builds up really well and the climax is powerful. It is definitely much better than The Avengers. The movie really starts picking up in the second half and trickles towards a very well set up climax which you are bound to enjoy.

The movie however is not exceptional like The Prestige, Inception or The Dark Knight. All these movies had something special that only Nolan can deliver. The Dark Knight rises fails to create that magic.

However, a footnote, I loved how the movie ends.

All and all, it is still a Nolan movie, it is still The Dark Knight Franchise and most importantly, it is still The Batman.

Must Watch.

Most Trustworthy Actors in Hollywood

Most Trustworthy Actors in Hollywood

In this article I try to create a list of Hollywood actors who you can trust on to give you excellent cinema. I have come up with this list based on whatever movies I have seen and I am sure that movies by all these actors will seldom disappoint you.

I have tried to keep my focus on both commercial as well as critical acclaim combined when choosing the actors in this list. That explains leaving out actors like Tom Cruise who succeed commercially but their movies are not necessarily applauded for being ‘Good Movies’.

Tom Hanks

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000158/

Tom Hanks is easily the most trust worth actor of Hollywood. Pick up any of his movies and there is hardly any chance that you will be disappointed. His movies include Forrest Gump, The Green Mile, Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away and many more which are must watch movies. Almost never miss out on a Tom Hanks Movie.

Kevin Spacey

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000228/

Another one of my favourite actors is Kevin Spacey. He caught my eye first with this movie called 21. I later saw why he caught my attention in an otherwise average movie, when I saw The Usual Suspects. He has another power packed performance in The Superman Returns as the bad guy Lex Luthor. I personally like his performances which gives allows me to add him to this list.

Robert Downey Jr.

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000375/

Robert Downey Jr. has that natural charm where he breaths a certain kind of life into the characters he plays that only he can do. He has made Iron Man his own and he repeated this in the case of Sherlock Holmes. Two absolutely opposite roles, in two different ages and yet one man has made it his own! Though he has not done too many movies worth remembering in the past apart from the Iron Man series and the Sherlock Holmes series and a few others, he is definitely an actor to watch out for.

Shia LaBeouf

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0479471/

I first saw him in The Transformers, then I saw Eagle Eye, then I saw Disturbia, then, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull & then Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Amazing movies…all of them…that is why I am sure his movies will not disappoint!

Edward Norton

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001570/

Edward Norton reminds a lot of Shia LaBeouf. Somehow, they seem very similar to me. Their career trajectory somehow overlaps even though Edward has done no such movie as The Transformers which is the major draw if you were to peek into Sh

ia LaBeouf’s Resume. You have to watch Rounders, Fight Club, The Italian Job, The Incredible Hulk & Stone to know why he is on this list.

Stanley Tucci

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001804/

So many times I have seen a good movie and gone…who is this guy? Every movie that I have seen him in, has turned out to be an amazing movie. Since he is a character actor and the only one on this list, he obviously does not have a very high recall value but nevertheless leaves his mark in the movies he has chosen. Watch Lucky Number Slevin, The Devil Wears Prada, What Just Happened, Easy A, Burlesque, Margin Call, Captain America: The First Avenger…!

Leonado Di Caprio

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000138/

That actor who has enjoyed amazing Commercial as well as Critical success thanks to Martin Scorsese who considers almost writes his movies for Leonado. Even though an Oscar still eludes him, he is in the good books of some excellent filmmakers like Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron (of course) & very recently Client Eastwood. Leonado has a long way from being that lanky guys from Titanic to be a power house performer today. Must Watch movies of his include The Beach , Gangs of New York, Catch Me If You Can, The Aviator, Blood Diamond, Shutter Island, Inception & the very recent J. Edgar.

Jesse Eisenberg

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0251986/

When he is asked the question if he has the attention of the lawyer in the movie The Social Network and the way he tears apart each and everyone in the opposition, even Mark Zuckerberg would have been proud of Jesse to have played his character the way he did! That movie seemed path breaking to me from the way it was made and the way Jesse performed in it. He proved the actor in him and his choice of movies proved the star in him. He has done awesome movies like Adventureland, Zombieland, The Social Network and I expect a lot out of him in the near future.

Helena Bonham Carter

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000307/

From the Harry Potter series to the musical Sweeny Todd, from Fight Club to Planet of Apes, this woman has impressed me a lot. She generally prefers to play crazy characters but they are generally performances of such high quality that they make the movie a must watch just for Helena alone. Also watch Alice in Wonderland.

Justin Long

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0519043/

The Guy caught my eye in the movie Accepted and then with his cameo in Zack and Miri Make a Porno. He is a natural, specially at comedy and is a good actor to watch out for. He is however still growing in the industry and is a force to reckon with. Do not miss Live Free or Die Hard.

Timothy Olyphant

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0648249/

Another mind blowing actor. Olyphant is one of the most stylish actors that I have come across in Hollywood. He plays his characters in such a way that brings a lot of depth in them. He has done some amazing movies and his movies are not to be missed out on! Do check out The Girl Next Door, Live Free or Die Hard, Hitman, I Am Number Four amongst others.

Paul Giamatti

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0316079/

How can we miss out Giamatti when we are talking about powerful and trustworthy actors? He is one of the most brilliant actors who deliver a power packed performance ever. If for nothing else, you will enjoy his movies only because of his performances. However, don’t be mistaken, he has delivered a bunch of amazing movies which includes, The Truman Show, Saving Private Ryan, Planet of the Apes, Paycheck, The Illusionist,, Shoot ‘Em Up, Fred Claus, Duplicity, Too Big to Fail, The Hangover Part II & The Ides of March.

John Malkovich

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000518/

The Guy has a movie by his name called being John Malkovich. An excellent actors who has delivered unique and successful performances one after the other! Watch Con Air, Rounders, Being John Malkovich, Johnny English, Burn After Reading, Red & Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Tom Hardy

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0362766/

Is no doubt an amazing actor but did not burst on to mainstream Hollywood until the recent hit Inception. He is without a doubt an amazing actor and it shoes in his earnest performances and very good movie selections. Do not miss out on RocknRolla, Inception, Warrior  & just hang on to your seats for his upcoming release The Dark Knight Rises where he essays the role of Bane!

I know I must have missed a lot of other amazing actors, I will try to keep updating this entry as and when i come across other trustworthy actors in Hollywood.

Goodbye Shah Rukh Khan, Thanks For The Memories!

[This is not an article written by me but I could not help sharing it]

Came across this excellent article written by Rituparna Chatterjee on IBNLive.com on Shah Rukh Khan. It talks about him in the 90s and compares it with him today. It is a critical of The King Khan but in a rather caring and concerned way. It is evident she loves him but has been hurt and believes it is time for him to move on while his glory is still intact!

I do not endorse the opinions of the article but yes Chatterjee  comes amazingly close to expressing what I have felt for a while is the reason for Shah Rukh Khan loss of control over his career. Out of sheer love and respect for Shah Rukh Khan, just like Sachin Tendulkar, I don’t want him to retire. Never!

Link of the article: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/goodbye-shah-rukh-thanks-for-the-memories/231787-8.html

What sexual awakening was to thousands of teenagers in the optimistic 90s, Shah Rukh was to Indian cinema. He was yet to discover his best camera profile and the scope of his dimples. He has, since then, scaled buildings, detonated bombs and brought roses to his sweetheart at midnight, but his super stardom has taken its bloody toll. He has lost the nerve he once showed in revealing his imperfect body in Maya Memsaab and reneged on the promise he made to his converts in the 90s to always select good cinema over money.

Yes, in that way, I have had a falling out with him. While he has moved on, I haven’t.

As a revisionist hero, Shah Rukh was the spiritual head of the new order he established in the early 90s and sustained for the next 10 years paring competition from two other emerging stars – Aamir and Salman – both intense and utterly focussed on using the consumerist audiences of the age of liberalization to their advantage.

“Shah Rukh Khan sells, period.” – Shah Rukh Khan

Like an ageing rockstar who remembers the heady aphrodisiac of a stadium full of screaming girls, Shah Rukh keeps trying to recreate the magnetic hold he had on his audience 10 years ago as a monument to his ego in films such as Ra.One. His is a career well lived. He is wealthy beyond all comparison and has established a fan base that few actors can emulate.

“My life may seem glamorous from the outside but off screen it’s as ordinary as anyone else’s. I want people to know that movie stars live a normal, middle-class life,” he told the BBC at the time of releasing the documentaries by filmmaker Nasreen Muni Kabir on his outer and inner worlds.

Yet he rarely ever chooses scripts that do not revolve around the central theme of ‘Shah Rukh Khan’. He rarely ever shares screen space, except in his early years, with some one who is his true competition. In Shimit Amin’s Chak De India Shah Rukh gave a stellar performance due to the strong ensemble cast and the fact that the focus was evenly shared by a team of good actors.

Shah Rukh has been told, over and over again, by the men he trusted his career, and by default his life with, he looked cute when he nodded his head a certain way or like a devil-may-care Cary Grant when his hair was brushed away from his forehead. Nobody would ever dispute his contribution to cinema. He is the single most important face a billion people the world over identify Indian cinema, its culture and the masculinity and fabulous wealth of its men with. I will not waste your time running you through a laundry list of his films and achievements, his endorsements and the sheer discipline with which he has built himself an empire in Mumbai.

I see him as a middle-aged realist with sharp intelligence but too entrapped in his super stardom to realize the message his changing audiences are sending him in his Friday outings at the Box Office. Yes, Ra.One made money, and so has Don 2. But the man on the street, which he himself once was at the time of Circus and Dil Dariya, is losing interest in the hamming, in the lined forehead and the body tortured in the gym to keep the tapering waist even in his middle age.

Would you, Shah Rukh Khan, see your own films, if they were showed to you back in 1988 when you valued character-driven performance? How would you rate your acting? I doubt if he would answer those questions.

If they were to put up a statue of him at Bandra it would have its arms outstretched and head tilted back – a pose his fans interpret as welcoming both the malice and the love he has received over 20 years. Which is not inconsiderable. He is the first hero to give back to his fans as much as he got, welcoming them into his drawing room. If only he knew when to stop.

The stress is starting to show

At the height of his success, Shah Rukh, with good humour and the shrewd derision he often directed at himself, said he has learnt to live with the burden of his fame. In a candid interview with his friend and filmmaker Karan Johar, he said he would always be King Khan in his mind and amongst the people who love him. The first cracks in the good humour have started to show now.

Despite protestations that opinion of film critics do not matter, the stress is showing after repeated thrashing from opinion makers across the board on two of his last films,Ra.One and Don 2, which were almost his children in the amount of love and attention he had bestowed on them. He had exhausted himself promoting Ra.One on a scale that has never happened before and previously thought impossible.

The sulking star is now in the news for slapping filmmaker Farah Khan’s husband Shirish Kunder, a lightweight in the pecking order of the industry. He is taken to making potshots at rivals, dressing in drag at major award shows and masquerading a barely concealed jealousy at the success of a hugely successful risque film under the garb of genial humour.

I mean it the kindest way, but it’s time to say goodbye. Shah Rukh will not be able to keep up with the formidable crowd forming at Bollywood’s second rung every day, neither will he be able to accept a character role that is not an ode to his super stardom. For as long as his friends in the industry keep shaping his career he will find a hit or the other. But now is a good a time as any for a dignified exit from playing the romantic hero opposite heroines half his age and choose scripts that will do justice to his talent.

For a man who is a strategist, he is one lost superhero.

5 Most Underrated Bollywood Movies

Underrated: Movies that either did not do too well at the box office when they released or movies that did not get the attention they deserved, or simply movies that are underrated.

Gulaal [2009]

Genre: Drama, Politics

IMDB Rating: 7.8/10

Synopsis: A law student witnesses the struggles of the Rajputs, deception, homicide, and crime after being elected as General Secretary of his college.

Director: Anurag Kashyap

Star cast: Kay Kay Menon, Raj Singh Chaudhary and Jesse Randhawa

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1261047/

If you thought Dev D was Anurag Kashyap’s best movie till date, then think again. Gulaal leaves Dev D way behind. In case you want to be sure yourself, you won’t have to go too far, just watch the first 10 minutes of the movie where Kay Kay Menon gives a power packed speech. The movie has a lot of new actors but each one of them gives an unforgettable  performance. The movie primarily deals with the politics in Rajasthan, the largest state in India.

Striker [2010]

Genre: Drama, Politics, Crime, Romance

IMDB Rating: 7.3/10

Synopsis: Amidst strictly enforced curfew by Bombay Police during December 1992 following Hindu-Muslim riots, Suryakant – one of four siblings from Malad’s Malvani slums, heads home. While doing so, he reflects on his childhood; his sisters: Devi and Rajni; brother Chandrakant; his dad, Shashikant, as well his mother; his expertise with the Carrom-board; run-ins with extortionist-goon, Jaleel Khan; his friendship with Zaid Khan; his crush on Noorie as well as his plans to find employment in Dubai; why he could not attend Devi’s marriage, as well as the tragedy that awaits him.

Director: Chandan Arora

Star cast: Siddharth, Ankur Vikal and Anupam Kher

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1573482/

When I watched this movie I was not expecting anything more than a movie based on Carom, a popular board game. But within 15 minutes of the movie starting it was evident that the movie has got much deeper roots. The movie talks about the slum life of Mumbai and captures Mumbai in a beautiful yet dark manner. One of the high points of the movie is when the lead actor played by South Sensation Siddharth comments about Mumbai saying: ‘bombay jitna bhi dekho…roz todha aur dikhta hai’. The movie dedicated only about 15 minutes to romance, the love interest played beautifully by Nicolette Bird but it does full justice to the romantic angle of the movie. The song Cham Cham sung by one of India’s most accomplished singers Sonu Nigam only adds to the movie. The movie, however, keeps its concentration on the Hindu/Muslim strife that was the main reason for the 1992 riots in Bombay. The movie is honest and gritty. The star cast once again delivers and excellent performance.

MP3: Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar [2007]

Genre: Romance/College

IMDB Rating: 7.2/10

Synopsis: Rohan Sood attends St. Lawrence High School and falls in love with Ayesha Mehra, who was born in London, England. Their relationship sours owing to rumours. Ayesha and her mom decide to go to Paris. Rohan travels all the way to Paris to meet his lady love and win her back.

Director: Robby Grewal

Star cast: Ruslaan Mumtaz and Hazel Croney

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0860454/

One of the best School Romantic movies. Both Ruslaan & Hazel make an excellent pair which is irresistible and their High School romance takes you back to your school days reminding you of the boy/girl that you had a crush/relationship with. It will make you want to fall in love. The movie is extremely cute and sweet but could not perform up to its capability on the Box Office probably due to lack of proper distribution/marketing.

Swades [2004]

Genre: Drama/Inspirational

IMDB Rating: 8.2/10

Synopsis: A successful Indian scientist returns to an Indian village to take his nanny to America with him and in the process rediscovers his roots.

Director: Ashutosh Gowariker

Star cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Gayatri Joshi and Kishori Balal

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367110/

It is almost impossible for a Shah Rukh Khan movie to be on this list…but surprise surprise, it is! This beautiful movie about a NASA scientist coming back to his village with intentions to take back his grandma back to USA with him will make you fall in love with it. One of Shah Rukh Khan’s best performance till date. The movie was initially offered to Hrithik Roshan, but I am glad he declined it because Shah Rukh Khan does complete justice to the character of Mohan. The Surprise package of the movie is Gayatri Joshi who in her simple and calm character makes a massive impact. Also as always the subtle romance that almost all Ashutosh Gowarikar (of Oscar Nominated ‘Lagaan’ Fame) movies have is outstanding and beautiful to watch. Swades was get another awesome movie that did not receive its due on the Box Office!

Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein [2001]

Genre: Romantic, Comedy

IMDB Rating: 7.2/10

Synopsis: It’s love at first sight when Madhav Shastri aka Maddy (R. Madhavan) first glimpses the beautiful Reena Malhotra (Diya Mirza). Thereafter he meets her again and finds out that she the betrothed to Rajiv. Maddy impersonates Rajiv and enters Reena’s life. And they both fall in love. Rajiv enters and both Maddy & Reena’s lives go for a

Director: Gautham Menon

Star cast: R. Madhavan, Saif Ali Khan and Diya Mirza

IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0299108/

One might argue what this movie is doing in the list of Bollywood’s Most Underrated Movies? But Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein was a flop when it released. I was there in the theatre to watch the movie first day, it was deserted. But Rehna Hai tere Dil Mein surfaced to become the cult that it is today. Very romantic, excellent music and yet another impressive performance by Vrajesh Hirjee who first made his mark with Hrithik Roshan starrer ‘Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai…’!

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