The Flying Sheekh!

Isn’t it ironic that my review on a film dealing with speed should come crawling almost a week after its release? ๐Ÿ˜ฏ
The weekend saw me holed up at home for fear of getting bombed up, what with it marking the anniversary of one of many terror attacks that have rocked Mumbai in the recent past. Little did I know that catching Bhaag Milkha Bhaag would accomplish the same result. That film just blew my mind!

‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ is an exhortation to our protagonist at crucial, defining moments in his life. It assumes the form of a guttural cry from a dying father to escape from the clutches of murderous zealots active at work during India’s Partition. The same sentence later transforms into a fervent prayer slipping past the lips of his coach at the Olympics Finals held in Rome. So quite a symbolic title that!

Anyway, the film opens with the said race. Everyone’s heard of the adage ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ I’m sure Milkha Singh must have too. Being a distant relative of Santa Banta, he must have presumed that all they do is roam! ๐Ÿ˜† SPOILERS AHEAD.

So roam he did! Instead of scrambling to achieve glory, our man began ambling away to glory! ๐Ÿ˜† He bagged fourth place. To him it was life’s biggest disgrace.

The root cause of his dismal performance can be traced to the 1956 Olympics held in Melbourne. The voluptuous granddaughter of the Aussie coach must have hollered “Howdy mate?” and Milkha Singh must have interpreted the friendly greeting as “Let’s go mate!” ๐Ÿ˜† It was evident we’d lost Milkha Singh cuz all I could see was MilKissing! ๐Ÿ˜† Needless to say, India went Down Under in the races! ๐Ÿ˜†

I honestly don’t know how much of this biopic is fact and how much fiction. It seems rather incredible that the real Milkha Singh would have boasted so blatantly about his international conquests (albeit of a different kind!) ๐Ÿ˜›

The film ends with Milkha learning to slow down, to wrestle the demons that have been chasing him all his life and ending on a high- with a glorious nickname coined by a Pakistani at that!

With a run time of 3 hours and 10 minutes, the film is anything but racy! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I shudder to think how much longer it’d be if the word ‘Bhaag’ wasn’t a significant part of its title! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Watch this movie only for Farhan Akhtar. He’s as luscious as that juicy piece of sheekh! ๐Ÿ˜› F&@#ing Hot with a capital F!

The performance he pitches in is the performance of a lifetime! He’s gotten so into the skin of his character, I’m sure he must be having trouble reverting to the Totla Akhtar he used to be! ๐Ÿ˜€

Sonam seems to be the new Sonakshi. A lucky mascot to propel a movie into the coveted 100-crore club. Anybody, absolutely anybody could have essayed her Biro. Even someone like Poonam (Pandey) who has a penchant for virile sportsmen. ๐Ÿ˜› Come to think of it, maybe if she was around during the landmark finals and had promised to strip if he won, I bet my bottom dollar Milkha would not trip! ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†

Uff, the confidence! I'm lovin' it!!! ;-)

Uff, the confidence! I’m lovin’ it!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Lootera ne band kiya muh mera!

No, No. Shotgun didn’t pop up at the screening to boom out ‘KHAAMOSHHHH’ at me! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m just amazed that cinema at its simplistic best, with minimal dialogue but heaps of an intoxicating old-world charm, could weave its magic on a chatter-box like me and render me speechless.

Ok, so, Ranveer falls off his bike and glares malevolently at SonHATHI. ๐Ÿ˜† He suspects the mini elephant and not her car is who tossed him into the ditch! ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†

Thus begins Vikramadityaโ€™s second directorial outing, Lootera. A vintage romance set in the early 50s where India is not the only one whoโ€™s liberated herself ๐Ÿ˜› Thereโ€™s Sonakshi, the virginal daughter of a Zamindar in Manikpur, WB, whoโ€™s also mighty eager to liberate herself sexually with the charismatic stranger whoโ€™s stormed into their lives.

Itโ€™s all done in a nice way, though. Not wantonly…remember Vidya Balan in Parineeta? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ There was something so pure about their gentle lip-lock and when the leads consummated their relationship just as tenderly, it was nothing short of orgasmic! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Painting by day and panting at night! ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†

Alas! Ranveer ditches Sonakshi at the altar! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ No wonder the ladies are still against Dicky Ball! ๐Ÿ˜† But what I suspect happened here is he broke a bone or two when the heavyweight champion wrestled him in bed! ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† He limps out of the plot having stolen what heโ€™d come for. He also inadvertently robs Sonakshi of her capability to love and to live.

The apparent callousness of his gesture proves to be too much for her old father. He’s next in line to desert her by departing for a world that knows no deceit. To complicate matters, thereโ€™s a debilitating illness racking Sona’s violated body,but strangely, she feels no pain. Sheโ€™s survived the worst pain of them all. That which arises out of having your heart broken! The clock is ticking and the warm glow of life is seeping out of her soul, slowly and steadily.

Overnight, the vivid hues of zestful Bengal become overwhelming โ€“ the azure lakes, the verdant forests, the golden fields, the dusty gullis. Life has been stripped of all colour. Now all that appeals to the defunct painter within is the starkness of Dalhousie. A La Jab We Met!

I might be digressing but the characters of Pakhi and Geet are almost like mirror images of each other. Both women child-like, both spurned in love, both scurry to the Himalayan foothills hoping to vanish into oblivion, both opt for a drab life as if to punish themselves for being jolly and vibrant earlier, both render gut-wrenching performances that make the audience root for them…..

Anyway, Dalhousie has been captured in the throes of winter, the stark white perfectly exposing Sona’s colorless existence. Sheโ€™s working on a book, something to keep her busy in the last days. Like Johnsy in Oโ€™Henry The Last Leaf, she is painfully aware of the leaves that are fast disappearing and before the last leaf follows suit, she must achieve the very last goal of her life.

By a quirky twist of fate, a year later, the last person she’d like to see makes an unexpected reappearance and topples the apple cart one more time. Will the con artist turn into a master artist? Can he go out of his comfort zone to deceive a pro like her by painting a very believable likeness of the last leaf? That leaf that braves all odds so that she too will derive enough hope and a zest for life to follow suit. Can he make adequate amends in the life of the woman he faulted so gravely? This sets the course for the remainder of the story.

Coming over to the acting. I found Ranveerโ€™s performance to be quite stilted. If youโ€™ve watched how unrestrained he was in Band Baaja Baaraat, youโ€™ll know just how inhibited he seemed in Ladies V/s Ricky Bahl. And that was a role he could have had so much fun with!

Sonakshi is first-rate as Pakhi. Heeding her fatherโ€™s advice, sheโ€™s stayed โ€˜Khamossshhhhโ€™ through most of the film. The strategy seems to have paid off as her silences have conveyed so much more meaning to the proceedings. I loved the vulnerability she exposed when she begs Ranveer to profess just a little love for her in return, when she pleads with him to meet her..achcha aaj nahi toh kal??? Accha toh phir parso??? For a woman of her time to disregard her dignity so is a big deal and it tugged at my heartstrings. This is Sonakshiโ€™s film all the way. It really should have been named Looteran! This woman steals your breath away…and your heart…that effortlessly!

As for the cinematography, I have just two words for it. Top-notch! Lootera is to films what The Last Leaf is to prose! If that ainโ€™t a compliment, I donโ€™t know what is! It truly is one of the few poignant love stories that offers complete closure thereby satiating you fully. Watch it if youโ€™ve ever experienced love in its truest form…or even if you havenโ€™t!

BELOW: When life robs of you of everything worth living for, there’s still hope to see you through!

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Not entirely rubbish, this Special Chhabees!

Last when I checked, the sexiest con artist there is on this planet, needed just 13 men to help him pull off a daring heist.

Apna toh Bollywood hai where more is merrier. So our desi Looney ๐Ÿ˜› enlists the help of an entire OCEAN of men ๐Ÿ˜† 26 to be precise, none as delicious as their Hollywood counterparts, to be immortalized for executing Mumbai’s most daring daylight burglary.

Neeraj Pandey certainly is no believer of Christ and follower of Gandhi ๐Ÿ˜‰ An eye for an eye is more his style, evident when Naseer gives terrorists a dose of their own medicine in A Wednesday and Akki raids the coffers of the corrupt in Special 26. Since both issues are irksome to the aam aadmi and also the law and justice dispensing machinery abominable, no wonder there was plenty of taali bajaaoing and seethi maraaoing in the theater! ๐Ÿ˜†

Pandeyji has splendidly slipped back into time and the characters have effortlessly adopted the ‘look’ and mannerisms of the Eighties. The heists truly orgasmic ๐Ÿ˜› the performances stellar, the dialogues tongue-in-cheek, attention to the minutest of details brilliant…except maybe the haphazardly-painted green wall that had the herculean task of passing off as the Arabian Sea! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

The only real nit to pick is the love angle. You don’t always have to feel sorry for your lead appearing celibate on screen ๐Ÿ™„

SRK delivered possibly his career’s finest without a love interest in Chak De.

As is God’s style, Akshay managed the show single-handedly, with great aplomb, in OMG. Had they included ‘Gopis’ serenading him in every frame ๐Ÿ˜ฏ like they did in some of his highly forgettable flicks like Desi Boyz and Garam Masala ๐Ÿ™„ then that would count as a truly OMG! moment! ๐Ÿ˜€

Naseer didn’t need a mature lady friend like the Shabana Azmi types to propel his ingenious plan or to deliver a rousing speech on his behalf.

To cut a long story short, I don’t think Kajal Aggarwal belonged in Special 26…or anywhere else! ๐Ÿ˜€ Her ‘loud’ presence eclipsed even Bajirao Singham’s menacing roar ๐Ÿ˜† and even made ‘bhaji’ of his tremendous screen presence ๐Ÿ˜†

The climax of Special 26 was not hard-to-see coming, a trifle absurd too, but for once, the film’s strengths are plentiful and the flaws few. That alone makes it a decent one-time watch!

The man made us wait and wait hard. 4 years is a helluva lot of time to come up with an ‘inspired’ script. But sabar ka phal meetha tha isliye….

Pandey ke liye hum bajaayenge seethi, haan bajaayenge seethi ๐Ÿ˜‰