Laila Majnu: A Tale Of Eternal Love


laila_majnuEpic love saga never ceases. Imtiaz Ali and Ekta Kapoor’s Laila Majnu is one of the popular folklores that has been a symbol of love across generations. Imtiaz Ali ( the director of popular movies like Jab We Met, Rockstar) presents the heartbreaking classic folklore in a contemporary light.

Although the movie was released on September 7, 2018, I watched it yesterday and I was blown away by the honest romance which I think is missing in most of the Bollywood movies, these days.

laila majnu finalDirected by Imtiaz Ali’s brother Sajid Ali, this movie is co-written by two brothers. The movie is a classic retelling of the story which has been there for centuries. But this time the producers and director have given a modern touch to age-old story.

Set in the backdrop of Kashmir, this new representation of the legend tale of love and suffering revolves around two characters: Laila, played by Tripti Dimri, is flirtatious, somehow likes being followed by boys in the streets of Srinagar and excitedly asks her friend how it felt it to be kissed by a boy. She is deviant in her attitude yet obedient in her actions. Majnu is played by Avinash Tiwary who is rich, spoilt brat. Their parents belong to rival political families and when both lovers want to marry, the conflict arises.

lailamajnu_127727_730x419-mLaila Majnu is the story of love and insanity. It’s how Majnu vies with ‘duniyadari’ and follow ‘his heart’ and in process sever himself of reality. It’s about how his desire to be with Laila just cut off from the real world and he starts living in his own world.

Avinash Tiwary as Qais/Majnu is a great discovery. His expression and body language are excellent as he transforms from the happy-go-lucky Qais to the obsessed Majnu. Tripti Dimri looks pretty and beautiful.

laila majnu 2

I love the innocence in romance and especially I was flabbergasted to see Avinash Tiwari acting. This is his debut but the way he performed his role as Majnu was brilliant. He enchants you with his ‘so much in love’ craziness. Moreover, the movie has few beautiful moments especially when Majnu sees Laila after four years, other is when Laila and Majnu meets at their friend’s wedding and phone calls… all this make you to fall in love with the characters time and again.

I rate this movie 3.5/5.

Movie Review: Pakistan’s Motorcycle Girl

motorcycle girlRecently, I got an opportunity to watch Pakistani movie ‘Motorcycle Girl’, which was released last year in April.

As the movie started, it was mentioned that the film is inspired by true events. Therefore saying that the movie was based on a young girl Zenith Irfan who made a record of travelling the dangerous terrains of Pakistan was not right. True that the movie’s protagonist name was Zenith but this movie was not only about her story. It was actually the story of every girl who wants to achieve something in their life and lives according to their own will. Zenith is played by Sohai. Zenith lives with her widowed mother and brother. She works in a service agency and her life revolves around home, job and her responsibilities.

What piques my interest is that the director And writer Adnan Sarwar has shown an ordinary girl who loves to live on her own terms but every day she is faced by challenges such as lecherous van wala who loves to annoy girls in her van, gender disparity at her workplace, marriage, and the most famous line log kya kehenge!

motorcycle girl 1

The reason she learns to drive a motorcycle in the movie is that she wants to avoid daily rebukes from her boss for being late. However, this is not digestible for her company. To add to her dismay, her boss takes away her idea and gives it to her colleague. She has a certain liking towards him but he makes her fun. This all breaks her and she decides to go for engagement with Zaffar (who was her dadi‘s favourite). And then she asks him to let her go for a trip to Khunjerab as she wants to fulfill her deceased father’s dream. After much deliberation, he lets her go. And then the journey starts. On her way, her mind changes. She becomes a different person.

I was impressed by the beautiful shots from Lahore to Khunjerab and exceptional acting of Sohai Abro . Despite few flaws, I got connected with the first scene. The emotions were beautiful and I also got teary-eyed on few scenes especially of father daughter relation. I think every girl should watch this movie because it shows that you can break the shackles and do anything only if you overcome your inner fear.

I rate this movie 3/5.

Movie Review: Badhaai Ho Beats Thugs of Hindostan at the Box Office


thugs and badhaai ho

Recently, Badhaai Ho has crossed 200 crore club and despite a month of its release, the movie is still giving a tough competition to the new big budgeted – and big starrer – movies such as Thugs of Hindostan.

A middle-class family, the intimacy between age-old couple culminating into pregnancy, saas-bahu family drama, an uninvited chota mehman, and breaking stereotype against societal norms; this is the premise of Amit Ravindernath Sharma’s most awaited Bollywood flick Badhaai Ho.


In September, when the trailer of the movie was launched, everybody was smitten by the novel idea presented by Sharma in a tongue-and-cheek humour. The expectations shot up sky-high when the old, married couple were shown breaking the news of their pregnancy to their two grownup sons. I became interested in knowing how the movie would go beyond the awkwardness fun part. There was a fear that the movie would turn into a typical Bollywood masala with no soul. And to my surprise, the movie delivers beyond its potential with power packed performances and crackling dialogues that split the audience with laughter.

Set against the backdrop of Delhi’s Lodhi colony, the story revolves around railway ticket collector in his early 50s, Jeetender Kaushik (Gajraj Rao) who lives with his wife Priyamvada Kaushik (Neena Gupta), his mother Surekha Sikri, two grown-up children, Gullar (Shardul Rana) who is in his teenage years prepping for boards and Nakul (Ayushmann Khurrana) who is in his mid-twenties and works at a multinational organisation. The movie gets you engrossed in minutes as the Kaushik family discover that Priyamvada is 17 weeks pregnant.

badhaai ho 2

The fun part in the movie is when couple has to share the ‘good news’ with their family. The scenes where Jeetender tries to awkwardly talk to his young sons and to his mother will crack you up. Nakul and Gullar, on other hand, cannot come to terms with the fact that their parents are going to have a third child at this age. Sikri is appalled when she hears the news and thrown the usual mother-in-law jabs at Priyamvada.

In another track, Nakul has a relationship with Renee (Sanya Malhotra) who belongs to an elite family in Delhi. She lives with her mother (Sheeba Chadha) in an upscale locale. The mother is fond of Nakul, but concerned about his family. She describes it as a circus she doesn’t want to buy tickets to. Although Sheeba appears in the film only for a few scenes, she leaves an indelible mark.

badhaai ho 6The strength of the film lies in the script (written by Shantanu Srivastava, Akshat Ghidal and Jyoti Kapoor) that explores an uncomfortable subject delicately. The screenplay, written by Akshat Ghildial, is amazingly brilliant. For instance Jeetender woos his wife with poetry and mangoes, the couple steal glances at a wedding, the family visits a local doctor at a small dispensary – all of which add to an amazing narrative.

The film has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, especially in the first half thanks to Nakul’s grandmother, whose response to learning about the pregnancy is pure gold. Veteran actress Sikri steals the show with her comic jibes.

Moreover, the story has many scenes which are exceptional like Nakul going to Gullar’s school to teach a bully, the heart-touching relationship between brothers, and mother-in-law praising daughter-in-law Priyamvada when criticised for pregnancy will definitely make you smile as well as form a lump in your throat. Also, the scene when Nakul invites Renee’s mother for his mother’s baby shower display sheer honesty and emotional sentiment which leaves everyone teary-eyed.

badhaai ho 1

As far as characters are concerned, I will say that the loose ends left in the script have been covered by stellar acting of the protagonists. Ayushmann Khurrana has delivered yet another brilliant performance, after winning accolades for his work in Andhadhun. Khurrana has of late come as a mature actor with the selection of experimental scripts that gives him margin to explore his acting potential. In this film, he showcases the various emotions of anger, shame, repentance, sorrow and love with great precision.

Sanya Malhotra has limited screen time but gets into the skin of the character and comes up with a superb performance. Neena Gupta does a convincing and adorable job as a mother. Gajraj Rao is just too wonderful and I just loved his Mr Bean like expressions. Shardul Rana has also done a decent job.

badhaai ho 5The music is fair, but there are no standout tracks in the film. The absence of chartbusting music is sorely felt. Abhishek Arora’s background score is remarkable and adds to the impact of the drama.

Although the movie keeps you hook to the seat in the first half with its super fun and hilarious dialogues, the second half witness the dip in the energy. However, the climax is beautiful and extremely fulfilling. Overall, the movie is enjoyable and sends across a strong message which is heartening.

I rate this movie 3/5.

Ki and Ka: Another Failed Attempt in Countering Gender-based Stereotype

Ki and Ka

“It’s not a conflict between man and woman or who works more and who not, it’s about who bring home money,” summing up the entire concept of the movie.

In our Asian culture, a woman’s place is in the kitchen and man has to go outside for earning. A man who does not have job is considered worthless or in other words impotent whereas woman who is ambitious and wants to pursue her dreams is regarded as selfish.

R Balki’s new release ‘Ki and Ka’ challenges these gender stereotypes that have hijacked our society for so long. There is no denying that the movie portrays a noble concept but is it really about breaking gender stereotype or merely a story of role exchange?

The movie sets the pace with the first scene where Kiya (Kareena Kapoor), an independent career woman, was gulping down booze at her friend’s wedding. Over there she heard the trite conversation between her friend’s in-laws and her parents of how the new bride would be likearjun-kareena759 a support system to her husband. Kiya cannot tolerate of such nonsense and right there and then she out rightly snapped back on a patriarch mindset.

Unlike other girls, Kiya doesn’t want to settle down and raise kids; she is a strong-headed corporate achiever who wants to have a name of her own.  On other hand, Kabir, an MBA topper, aspires to be like his mother-a homemaker, in his words an ‘artist’.  He is a modern atypical man who is not afraid of showing his emotions publicly.

They had their first encounter in plane where Kabir was sobbing by recalling his mother. Rather empathizing with him, Kiya makes fun of him. However, the brief bantering led up to conversation and with that they started meeting each other. Both end up marrying each other where Kiya became the man in the relationship and Kabir, having no ambitions to work in a cut-throat environment, stayed back at home.

Kiya’s mother (Swaroop Sampat) was all right with their thought a2process but Kabir’s father (Rajit Kapoor) was not happy at all. He also taunted his son by saying who man wants to stay at home and live-off on his wife’s money.

Ki and Ka narrative falls short of projecting unconventional and tough relationship goals while the movie is just another extension of Bollywood cliché.  Being an independent woman is not about having no pregnancy or fretting over it. Or being a home-husband doesn’t mean that you have to clean, cook or look after home.  The idea of gender equality in a relationship is more about working out together for the same goal and not limit them with mere role exchange as depicted in the movie.

The movie deludes you into thinking that Balki may be challenging the status quo but the change is purely cosmetic and superficial.  It is just story of role reversal where man stays at home and woman goes 426704-ki-and-ka-collageoutside to work. That’s about it. By nature Kabir is a man and Kiya is a woman. His reactions are men’s reactions, no self-loathing, confident and being rationale while Kiya overreact, thinks too much and an emotionally driven person.

The brilliant cameo of Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan in the movie underlining the gender debate let you re-evaluate the situation carefully.  It questions the gender equality by posing some serious questions.

There is not much to say about Kareena and Arjun’s acting. The performance lacks depth and is just bland.  The narration is a reflection of Balki’s inconsistent writing. The characters lack lucidity and few 461252-ki-and-ka-ssscenes were just a drag in the movie.

The idea of one being superior to the other is deep-rooted in our psyche which needs to be changed. But if you think that Balki’s movie will bring that change so you are wrong. It may have touched the subject of role reversal but it’s not a strong voice against gender stereotyping. In fact it doesn’t touch any chord of your heart.

Watch it only if you want to have a few laughs and want to see a husband doing cleaning and looking after a home for a change!

Safe Haven–a simple story of loving again!


Love is beautiful; enchanting as it appears, enliven your life with joy. Every time a person falls in love feels ecstatic because the power of love is so strong; this cannot be defied back.  Love is the prime element that brings two people close to each other; ultimately leading to a solid relation as ‘soul-mate. Relationships based on love and support cherishes togetherness and provides a sense of safety with your lover. The movie ‘Safe Haven’ narrates the whole notion of feeling secure in a relationship.

The story is very simple; a young girl falls in love with a guy, they share good moments with each other and at the end live happily ever after.  Now, here is the twist, this girl (Katie) was already married off to a police officer who lived in Boston…however he was alcoholic  and used to beat his wife Katie. One day it went beyond beating to killing and to rescuing herself, Katie hit her husband hard and just ran away to the quietest and smaller town named South-port in North Carolina in order to hide her secret. There she met Alex who was a widower with two children. His wife died long ago as she suffered from cancer.  Alex and Katie form a romantic relationship with each other, whereas his daughter Lexie accepted her immediately, Alex’s son Josh took a while to get used to Katie.

Meanwhile, Katie met Jo who became her good friend.  The bond between these two lovers gradually became strong but in the end Katie’s dark secret confronted her who apparently was her abusive husband who got killed Cherished togethernesswhile Katie was trying to safe herself. The other part is dramatic but truly gave a good twist at the end. Jo was not only Katie’s friend but also she was Alex’s dead wife; oh yes! She was a spirit.Therefore, everything is well that ends well.

The movie is inspired from famous novelist Nicholas Sparks book ‘Safe Haven’ who is also noted for his other best-seller novels; Notebook, the lucky one and so on so forth.  Screenplay of the movie was little weak but overall a pure love story which has every other ingredients to move you in a good way.  Moreover, there were subtle performances by the actors who have kept very natural.  Other than that, there were times when the movie drags along the time, but few of the twists that were kept till the end did make it interesting.

Loving again

Loving again

Having said that, the concept of the movie is simple; love can happen any time. It’s not essential that first love is the true love, further having an abusive relation at first attempt should not refrain someone from loving again…Despite of hurtful past in Katie’s life,   she met Alex who happened to be her true soul-mate so love is just unpredictable.

All in all, I still recommend this movie; why? Because it is a treat to watch a movie having beautiful scenery and amazingly sweet love story … So, if you want to spend a good and soothing weekend, this movie is just the right choice!