Movies Ashdoc's Movie Review - Couple Of Old Movies I Saw On Dvd

Discussion in 'Theatre, Movies & Cinema' started by ashdoc, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    1. Buddha in a traffic jam

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      Arunoday Singh plays a dynamic young man who has come to Hyderabad to study in a university . He is talkative and can make speeches inspiring his peers . He has all the makings of a yuppie ; he is liberal and cool and as sophisticated as they come . His and his friends' lifestyle is as cool as it can be in India ; they dance and sing to the beat of rock music , they ( including the females ) drink and smoke and party . His female friend ( played by Akanksha Dwivedi ) is free enough to dance almost topless on the bartender's table in a lounge . So free that she act attracts the unwanted attention of the moral police , who violently interrupt the act .

      But at not too long a distance from Hyderabad in the district of Bastar lives another India . The tribals living there are being crushed by both sides---by the naxalites who beat them up regularly for co operating with government authorities and the government authorities who humiliate them for being in cahoots with the naxals . They have no hope of progress or development . Their only source of pride is their 5000 year old way of life that has not been change for 5 millenia . It is they who are focus of the film , even though it is played out mainly in the big city .

      Back in the big city , Arunoday Singh takes part in a campaign called pink bra campaign against the moral police and he comes into the limelight due this . His articulate speeches against the moral policing win him admirers and he becomes a popular figure in the university . During this time he comes to the attention of a professor in the university ( played by Anupam Kher ) and his wife played by Pallavi Joshi . They run an NGO which sells pottery made by the tribals from Bastar and the sales of the pottery are used to help raise money for the tribals' development....a worthy cause , no doubt . Along with them is Mahie Gill , who openly says to Arunoday that she is a believer in the tribals' cause. A naxalite sympathiser who grows close to Arunoday soon .

      But the NGO runs on government grants , and the government has recently decided to cut the flow of funds to such NGOs because the money is being fuelled to the naxalites . So Anupam Kher approaches Arunoday to create a way of raising money for his NGO . Arunoday takes up the task with full gusto and soon comes up with a master plan to sell the tribals' pottery online and cut out all the middlemen , so that the money is directly transferred to the tribals for whose benefit the whole enterprise is supposed to be . But Anupam Kher develops acute discomfort at this idea , and he says that he is a professor not a businessman and his prestige as a professor will be affected if he goes into online business .

      But the real reason for his refusal is different ; he is the typical JNU type of professor , in cahoots with the naxalites and their brutal leader who is played by Gopal K Singh . Anupam goes to meet them in their hideouts , and this time when he goes there he is told that Arunoday must be killed immediately . For Arunoday's plan for helping the tribals' is too good ; it will bypass all the middlemen controlled by naxalites and even the government agents who are all revealed to be part of the money siphoning mafia . Arunoday has unwittingly got mixed up in all this and has brought about his own doom...or has he ? For Anupam Kher's aide Mahie Gill is not a corrupt person but a real passionate naxalite who genuinely cares for the tribals' cause and is appalled by this planned murder , and her personal reason for this is that she is in love with Arunoday too . Also Anupam's wife Pallavi Joshi is shocked by her husband's involvement with the naxalites and is prepared to help Arunoday . Together they and Arunoday hatch a plan to bring the situation to justice....

      Straightway I must say that it takes courage to make such a film ; the JNU type of anti nationals whom the movie villainizes have a tremendous hold on our media and culture . All reviewers panned the movie after it was released under pressure from the liberal/anti national mafia which controls our press . And the director's courage must be applauded by watching the film . For it brings out the true colours of the universities like JNU and their professors . They are clearly funding the maoists and in cahoots with them .

      I could see myself in Arunoday---a real person , a buddha like figure who believes in peace and wants to lead a liberal westernized free life . But he has peoples' good at heart and being liberal does not mean he wants to be anti national . But in this movie Buddha has been caught in a traffic jam created by elements inimical to our nation....

      The movie scores on photography and colours and has decent music and songs . Acting by Arunoday is top class and Anupam Kher too excels , especially excelling in his last speech when he spells out his mad dream of communist revolution in the classroom . For anybody interested in politics and wanting to be in touch with contemporary issues , the film is a must see !!

      Verdict---Highly Recommended .

      Four stars out of five.
     
     
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  2. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    13 hours

    Amazingly , history itself teaches us that the lessons of history are never learnt and therefore history is condemned to repeat itself. Just like they had destroyed Iraq in 2003 and killed Saddam and created a failed state , in 2011 the western powers intervened to destroy the regime of another dictator/tyrant---muammar gaddafi of Libya . Result---another failed state and death of the US ambassador Stevens, who was killed by insurgents.

    Just saw the movie '13 hours' on the killing of the US ambassador and the harrowing time US personnel living in Benghazi had trying to fight with an overwhelming number of insurgents. Several US personnel were killed too . The movie shows all the fighting in gory detail. Seeing the movie made me revisit the mistakes made by the western powers in the so called Arab spring . I would rate the movie as good and give it three and half stars out of five
     
  3. ashdoc

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    Tara---the journey of love and passion ( 2013 )

    I saw this film because it deals with the vaghari community from Gujarat , a community which inhabits the area around my clinic and forms my patients in large numbers . Also because vaghari women are very beautiful with many having light eyes and fair skin and frankly I am attracted to them . But I never dared to ask a vaghari woman out for a date because they are mostly illiterate and lower class . Also other gujaratis have a low opinion of them and that discouraged me . The former british rulers of India topped in this vilification . They declared the vagharis to be a robber caste . The stigma has stuck . However , this very stigma has brought the art film world to showcase this film in various film festivals across the world and give it awards . The appetite of westerners is whetted by films like these showing the life of alleged robber castes from poor India .

    The film shows the trials and tribulations of Tara ( played by Rekha Rana )---a feisty young woman living in a village straddling the Maharashtra Gujarat border , judging from the equal number of Marathi and gujarati characters in the film . She deeply loves her husband Baldev ( played by Rohan Shroff ) and spends many nights soaked in passion making sumptuous love on their bed . I also was dreaming of doing the same with her , considering the bare naked back she was showing throughout the film wearing backless cholis . Indeed , the whole film shows these vaghari women in backless cholis which turn up our temperature . The women selected are fair and with seemingly soft skin of their bare naked backs , and they make love with their mates with some zest .

    But misfortune strikes---Tara's husband Baldev is contracted by Patil who is the rich man of the village to ferment an illegal concoction of alcohol , but the police arrive on the scene to arrest Baldev . A wailing Tara tries to save Baldev to no avail and the court sends him to jail for months . This gives the villain of the story ( Babanya ) the chance to prey upon Tara , and when she refuses he spreads the canard that she is pregnant with his child in order to take revenge for her slapping him .

    While this is happening to Tara her neighbour Sumi's condition is worse . Her husband has also been arrested along with Baldev and her own father in law takes advantage of this to try to make her the prey of his lust . Patil also takes sexual advantage of the poverty of vaghari women---so all men are the same . When Sumi's husband comes back he takes terrible revenge on the father in law by murdering him with a pickaxe . Meanwhile famine strikes the land and the vagharis have to steal water which is scarce by force from tankers with Tara in the lead threatening the driver of the water tanker with her sharp sickle . But she is a woman with humanity---she helps an old helpless woman by giving her own jewellery .

    The big catastrophe for Tara comes when her husband believes Babanya's tall claims after coming out of jail and calls a village meeting and throws out Tara from the village for becoming pregnant with Babanya's child allegedly . Tara walks out in despair and gives birth to a female child . A kind Marathi lady gives her shelter . Here she meets Kishna ( played by Ashish Saleem ) who is well read and teaches her to read , falling in love with her . But Tara rejects his proposal of marriage ; she says she has respect for him but is now disinterested by the idea of marriage due to her past experience . She still believes that a woman's place is with her first husband , but the Marathi lady tells of her own alcoholic husband who used to beat her before he died and convinces Tara of remaining alone .

    But the task of removing the stigma from Tara's name remains , and a DNA test is duly called for .The test confirms that Tara's child's father is her husband Baldev . Baldev agrees to accept her back , and do they all live happily after that ?.....naah...this is art film , and art films get awards only when the women walk independent . So Tara having cleared her name kicks out the undeserving husband and walks away free of men....she starts her own handicrafts business with her Marathi mentor and becomes financially free too....

    The movie is obviously poverty porn made for the west to savour with images of poverty like an old woman dying due to lack of care and kids playing in dirty clothes . Acting is juvenile . But somewhere the movie's simplicity and earnestness of the heroine touches your heart . I gained an understanding of the life of my patients ; those people whom I used to ignore after treating them became real life people for me . Tomorrow when I walk into my clinic I will know something about them . The vagharis eat nonveg food unlike other gujaratis , a fact shown in repeated chicken killing scenes in the film .

    Colours and photography of the film is real good . I found it an okay watch .

    Two stars out of five .
     
  4. ashdoc

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    Waterloo ( 1970 )


    Waterloo movie's main achievement is the fact that it manages to win a bit of sympathy for the loser of the battle of Waterloo , Napolean Bonaparte . Inspite of him being a megalomaniac who invaded large parts of Europe , you do feel for the great man as he nears the end of his illustrious career as warrior .

    The movie was made with Russian soldiers as extras , which reduced the budget as they demanded less pay than westerners and allowed for the creation of large armies of actual men rather than create them by special effects . That indeed is the special point of the film ; it really shows large armies of real men manoeuvring and skirmishing and clashing in battle .

    The movie begins with Napolean surrendering before his enemies and being forced to abdicate to the island of Elba , but a wave of popular emotion in France brings him back to power . The scenes of crowds of French men and women cheering him are authentically portrayed . Marshals who have promised to keep Napolean in an iron cage are forced to accept him back and he forgives them generously because he needs them to command his armies . But his enemies led by the British are not ready to accept him as ruler of France and war is certain .

    The British forces are led by Arthur Wellesley , a slim and cool person who is not ruffled by changes in fortune when battle is going on or when persons close to him are killed ; His own daughter's fiance is destined to be killed in the coming encounter . As news comes that Napolean is on the march , Wellesley coolly asks the ball dance that is happening to go on . He shockingly talks about his own soldiers as scum , but accepts before his wife that the scum are wiling to lay their lives for him .

    The tension in the two camps on the night before battle is well built up , and Napolean has ill health because of the tension . The battle is all or nothing for him , and France is alone against the armies of Britain and Prussia . The Prussians are led by Blucher but are away and it is not certain whether they will arrive to impact the battle in time .

    As the two armies confront each other , it is a grand spectacle for a connoisseur of war movies . The British are in red uniforms , the French are in blue and the Prussians are in black .Perfectly disciplined formations of men go into battle with drums beating and guns roaring and firing yellow flames and acrid smoke . The charges of heavy cavalry are well pictured , with masses of horsemen charging the battleground in ever increasing speed filling you with awe and the enemy with fear .

    At first the battle goes in favour of the French as they manage to storm a well defended fortified position of the British , but when Napolean is taking rest his marshal orders a charge of cavalry without infantry support . The British infantry which is well dug in defends doggedly by making several square formations . However Napolean still manages to retrieve the French position and soon Wellesley is in dispair as he is staring at defeat . But the French marshal ( Degrouchy ) who was supposed to stop the Prussians sticks too rigidly to orders and does not follow their forces . This allows Blucher and his Prussians to arrive to attack the main French troops just when needed by their allies the British . The battle decisively swings in the favour of Napolean's enemies because of this and all is lost for him.....his troops however refuse the British offer to surrender and prefer to to be mown down by artillery guns to redeem their honour ; the final scene is full of pathos as the victor ( Arthur Wellesley---the future Duke of Wellington ) surveys the battlefield .

    The movie scores in acting , and photography and colours are good . Background music is decent too . I would rate it three stars out of five .


     
    Exodus ( 1960 )

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    The real problem for the moviemakers was an impossible one---to match the novel on which the movie was supposed to be based . And EXODUS is one of the most influential novels of the 20th century , a masterpiece if there ever was one ( GODFATHER and CARPETBAGGERS are others ) . But the novel is so vast in scope and scale that it was not possible to pack all it's events in one movie , even though the movie was already long at 3 hours 15 minutes . A miniseries would have been more apt to film the novel , but it would not have had the grandeur of a film would it ?? Certainly not in the era of small TV sets which did not have HD ; the movie was made way back in 1960 when TV technology was in it's infancy . So a cinemascope movie that left out some of the events in the novel was made .

    The movie starts with an American nurse ( played by Eva Marie Saint ) who is a volunteer at the internment camp of holocaust survivors in Cyprus wanting to adopt a young danish Jew girl and take her back to the US . But fate has other plans as a rebel Jew ( played by Paul Newman ) who had fought in the British Jew brigade smuggles many Jews including the danish girl onto a ship which is renamed the 'Exodus' , and the ship is destined to sail to Palestine . The Danish girl ( played by Jill Haworth ) is in love with a holocaust survivor ( played by Sal Mineo ) and wants to go to Palestine and not America . The American nurse also boards the ship , and the rebel Jew threatens to blast the ship by dynamite if the British authorities do not remove their blockade of the ship . So they relent and allow it to sail to the cheers of the Jews not only in the ship but also in the internment camp . Their joy is to be seen to be believed ; the call of the holy land promised for 2000 years and now at last in reach after innumerable sufferings is something that others like me will not even begin to understand....

    All the Jews have stories of persecution and horror to tell ; the stories are beyond the imagination of those who have led secure lives . For example , the holocaust survivor loved by the danish girl had chosen to co operate with the nazis to bury murdered members of his own community by dynamite in order to save himself , and the nazis have done unspeakable things to him . The British officers guarding the internment camp also look at the Jews with racism and think of them as troublemakers .

    The movie has two love stories---one of the american nurse who first loves the character played by Newman , but feels different from his family and rejects him until a life and death situation makes her realise her love for him . The other is of the danish girl who has fallen in love with the holocaust survivor . The two lovers are opposites ; he has seen the worst form of persecution under the nazis , while she has seen compassion as all danish citizens marched out wearing the star of David ( jewish symbol ) when the nazis asked the Jews to identify themselves thereby hiding the Jews . Naturally she has a wide eyed innocence about her . But it is she out of all people who is selected by fate for death at the hands of the Arabs ; she who constantly worried about the holocaust survivor...such is the hand of destiny in the midst of war .

    And war it is , as the Jews and Arabs have to fight it out for claiming Palestine . The film has bomb blasts and assassinations and full scale fighting . The Jews' moment of triumph is shown in the movie---when the United nations passes the resolution for partitioning Palestine to form a Jewish state . And more fighting has to be done . Some Jews like the character played by Paul Newman are friendly enough with some Arabs that an Arab friend lays down his life to save him ; he is buried along with the danish girl . Naturally , the character played by Newman dreams of a nation where Jews and Arabs with live like equals . But as history tells us with the benefit of hindsight , dreams are not always fulfilled !!

    Inspite of it's shortcomings , the movie has the ingredients of an epic . And I went on to like it as I saw it more . Acting is not natural but theatrical , but the director has woven the events into a well told story . Music is of course the strong point of the film , and is tinged with emotion with the Israeli national anthem being it's theme . Photography is okay .

    Verdict---Good .

    Three stars out of five .
     
  5. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    Duel ( 1971 )

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    Review has spoilers


    This movie was the first ever directed by Steven Spielberg in 1971 . It won him recognition as a director .

    The film shows a man driving from his town to another town in his car after a minor tiff with his wife . On the way he overtakes a trailer carrying inflammable liquid . The driver of the trailer is some psycho who takes this overtaking personally and begins to follow the car and try to ram the car .

    The frightened car driver stops at a cafe , but the trailer stops outside the cafe . The car driver does not know whom among the people assembled in the cafe is the trailer driver and gets into a fight with the wrong person who he thinks is the trailer driver . But the man soundly beats him up .

    Soon the trailer leaves ( it's driver was not in the cafe at all ) and car driver breathes a sigh of relief and resumes his drive , only to find that the trailer is waiting for him ahead . The choice before the car driver is to turn back and head back home , which any normal person would have done . But he decides to challenge the trailer....otherwise how would the movie become interesting [​IMG]

    As the car tries to overtake the trailer , the trailer driver inexplicably signals to let him overtake . But as he tries to overtake , the car driver sees another car coming from the opposite side at high speed ; the trailer driver has led him to a death trap , but the car driver's expert driving saves him and he overtakes . But soon he discovers that the trailer has a very powerful engine and he can't match the trailer's speed and the trailer is catching up .

    The car driver has to stop at a train crossing with the train roaring in front of him , but to his horror the trailer arrives and tries to push his car onto the train to kill him . After the train crosses the car driver tries to stop at a phone booth to call the police , but the trailer arrives to smash the phone booth from which the car driver jumps out just saving his own life in time . The trailer then swerves back to try to kill him again , but again he just escapes .

    The car driver then swerves his car off the road to a dirt track to avoid the trailer but the trailer follows . The dirt track however ends in a dead end . So is it certain death for the car driver ? No....Watch him trick the trailer driver into smashing into his trailer into the valley below .

    In all this madness the face of the trailer driver is not shown even once ; he remains an unknown quantity , adding to the suspense . And his reason for trying to kill the car driver is unfathomable except for the conclusion that he is a psycho .

    Spielberg keeps the tension alive and the drama on high gear throughout the duel between the two unequal vehicles ; one car against a huge trailer , and the trailer carrying some inflammable liquid which might explode in a ramming . Background music is appropriate for the situations and photography is decent too . Colours of the movie are not that impressive though . There is not enough time to build the characters of the two protagonists at all in the one and a half hour short movie . The thrill is in the situation created .

    Verdict---Decent .

    Two and a half stars out of five .
     
  6. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    Operation daybreak ( 1975 )

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    1942---the heyday of nazi occupation of Europe . Hitler's right hand man Reinhard Heydrich is appointed as the Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia ( modern day Czech republic ) and he quickly unleashes a reign of terror there , giving orders for murder of countless innocents . To stop him , the British parachute three Czechoslavs with orders to assassinate Heydrich . The Royal air force drops two of them in the wrong position 200 km away from their intended target .

    The two are questioned by a german patrol and have to kill the germans . But they are helped by czechs who bribe a german driver to take the two to a doctor because one of them is wounded slightly . To the surprise of the two , the doctor first questions them and then unites them with the third member of the group . The mission is on and they prepare plans to kill Heydrich while hiding in a church along with the Czech underground resistance .

    The members of the Czech resistance do not agree with the idea of killing Heydrich because the nazis would take terrible revenge by killing scores of innocent Czechs . But for the three sent from Britain , orders are orders . However the first chance to kill Heydrich is lost as another oncoming train blocks their sight just when they are going to shoot him from afar while he is travelling in a train to Berlin .

    But they use the resistance members to track Heydrich's movements and find out that he regularly uses a route for reconnoitering the countryside and slows down at a particular turning point . Two members of the group plan to kill him there . They are Sergeant Jan Kubiš ( played by Timothy Bottoms ) and Sergeant Jozef Gabčík ( played by Anthony Andrews ) . The third ( Sergeant Karel Curda---played by Martin Shaw ) goes to meet his wife and child and stays there .

    As Heydrich's car slows down one of the two tries to kill him upfront by sten gun but his gun jams . As he flees , Heydrich's bodyguard chases him and leaves his master unprotected . The other lobs a grenade from the other direction fatally wounding Heydrich . The two then meet in the church and members of the resistance then ask them to flee as the avenging germans are after their blood . The two decide to wait for the third member ( Curda ) to come back .

    But Curda who is living with his wife gets terrified after he hears about the german massacre and destruction of the village of Lidice as revenge for Heydrich's murder . He fears for his wife and child and thinks that they would get killed too in the german orgy of revenge . He actually goes to the germans and rats out on his comrades in return for safety of his family !!

    As the germans surround the church and begin to kill , the extended climax is full of pathos . Of the twosome realising to their chagrin that the comrade they waited for has actually betrayed them . Of the resistance group putting a fierce fight to the death killing many germans . At last gas is pumped into the hiding room of the two and still they hold out . Finally they are attempted to be drowned by pumping water until they are forced to shoot themselves .

    The movie has decent photography , but it is the musical score that excels . The background music truly is scintillating and is rich with emotion . The nazi era is properly recreated complete with nazi salutes and uniforms and brutality . Acting and action is good but it is in emotion that the film really scores . The men find time to form dalliances with women and the grief of the women on their death is hard to watch , especially because it is a true story . Yes the movie is based on real events and what happened to each character during or after the war is told at the end . As expected , the war takes the lives of most . But the destroyed village of Lidice was rebuilt after the war , a testament to the triumph of justice .

    Verdict---Good .

    Four stars out of five .
     
  7. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    Souten ( 1983 )

    Set on the beautiful island of Mauritius , which has a majority of Indian descended population , the movie has an interesting and modern take on the relationship between hindu God Krishna and his chief wife Rukhmini and the other woman in their life of whom Rukhmini is constantly jealous . This is Radha , the eternal devotee of Krishna with whom he has a deep but platonic relationship . Unlike Rukhmini and Krishna who have physical relations , Krishna and Radha do not have physical relations but instead a deep love that is so legendary that they are worshipped together as if they are a couple and many times we find idols with Krishna and Radha together....but never is an idol found of Krishna and Rukhmini together . This is of course a constant source of anxiety to Krishna's chief wife Rukhmini , and the film is based on this triangle . But an interesting twist is added in the film---Radha in the film belongs to the lowest caste in Hinduism which is considered untouchable by upper castes ; that is , even touching people of her caste is considered filthy by upper castes .

    So on to the story of the movie---Shyam ( another name of Krishna ) is played by Rajesh Khanna who is the Krishna of the movie , and he is a self made man who has risen from humble origins to become a successful owner of fishing ships . One day a man called Gopal ( played by Sriram Lagu ) from the untouchable caste comes to him for a job and begs him to give him the job as his daughter is not even having food to eat at home . Shyam takes him in and soon is impressed by his devotion to his work , so he makes his second in command in his venture . Gopal is so grateful to Shyam for this promotion that he daily tells about the kindness of Shyam to his beautiful daughter Radha ( played by Padmini Kolhapure ) and hearing his stories she soon falls in love with Shyam even without meeting him .

    Shyam is ambitious and goes to meet the head ( Raisaheb played by Pran ) of a finance corporation to get a loan for buying more ships . Raisaheb is impressed by his plans and arranges the loan and also invites Shyam to a party , where he is introduced to Raisaheb's daughter Rukhmini with whom he develops an instant attraction . Rukhmini is stunning and stylish and fashionable and hungry for love . Inspite of opposition from her maternal uncle ( played by Prem Chopra ) and her mother , she gets married to Shyam . When Radha hears of this , she is obviously disappointed that she could not get Shyam . But she quickly adjusts to this reality and continues to love Shyam without even having met him once !! But Rukhmini detests these lower caste people and refuses to associate with Radha's father Gopal .

    Being from a very rich family , Rukhmini is used to having her way and her passion for gambling brings out friction with her husband Shyam . One day she on the advice of her mother gets herself operated for not having children for a long time because she does not want to lose her figure in pregnancy . But the operation results in her becoming never capable of having children , leaving Shyam devastated . The couple begins to draw apart .

    In the midst of all this , Gopal invites Shyam to his house for lunch and Shyam and Radha finally meet . Shyam is instantly drawn to Radha and he begins to meet her regularly to soothe his mind . The much in love Radha gladly obliges . One day a big ship that Shyam has purchased on the loan he got capsizes and loses all it's men and his money . Once more he goes into the arms of Radha to forget his troubles and this time she holds him in her embrace . And forces him to sleep that night in her house because a thunderstorm has made it impossible for him to move out . But there is no sex between them and the relationship remains chaste .

    But Rukhmini's maternal uncle seizes the chance to claim that they ( Shyam and Radha ) slept together and rouses the jealousy of Rukhmini . Mad with jealousy , she invites Shyam and Gopal and Radha to a party where she dances with lascivious movements in exposing clothes and becomes increasingly drunk . And at the end she confronts Shyam over his relationship with Radha . Angry and frustrated over her behaviour , Shyam admits to loving Radha and in return gets slapped by Rukhmini . She runs to her father with the news and gives him a heart attack by which he dies . But she continues to love Shyam still . It is upto Radha to clear the misunderstanding and bring the couple she worships ( Shyam and Rukhmini ) together . And to do so , she plays the ultimate price....gives up her own life .

    Embellished with beautiful background music and superb songs , the movie was the last triumph of the superstar of yesteryear---Rajesh Khanna . For it was his last hit as hero of a film . His then girlfriend Tina Munim played Rukhmini with aplomb and looked stunning in the latest fashionable clothes and styles . Today when the untouchables have begun to forsake the hindu religion for buddhism , it was nice to see a time when the role of hindu God Krishna's companion Radha was done by a girl shown to be of the untouchable caste in hinduism . And nobody complained . Padmini Kolhapure has done justice to that role .

    Verdict---Good .

    Four stars out of five .
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
  8. ashdoc

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    Ek baar phir ( 1980 )

    The Indian star system of Bollywood in the 1970s---full of tyranny of the top film stars . Mahendar Kumar ( played by Suresh Oberoi ) plays just such a film star . He arrives late for shootings keeping his producers and directors waiting even though their precious money is on the line . Sometimes when he does not have the mood he simply skips the shooting wasting the time resources and energy that has been spent creating the movie set . Reason---he is sleeping with some woman . Producers literally have to fall at his feet and beg him to resume shooting . He forces changes in the dialogues of his films to favour himself and sometimes changes entire scenes to suit his star status . No one dare reproach him for his misbehaviour for he is the darling of the masses ; the man for whom people come to watch films .

    At home Mahendar's wife Kalpana ( played by Deepti Naval ) is subject to a different kind of tyranny . She has to suffer neglect as Mahendar is away for shooting leaving her alone at home . But many times his keeping away from home for shootings is nothing but an excuse for sleeping with other women . Not that he takes much care to hide his affairs . Women lie half naked on his lap in parties in front of Kalpana and make a beeline for sleeping with him because they want roles in films through his recommendations .

    Kalpana who has married him thinking how lucky she is to marry this great film star remembers with regret the carefree days of her youth where she used to frolick with her friends before marriage . She feels humiliated by Mahendar's open dalliances with other women in front of her eyes while she has to play dutiful wife dancing on his tune . But this is India in the seventies and women have to live lives hidebound by tradition . In real life too wives of film stars like Raj Kapoor and Dharmendra had to live long suffering lives where they were not allowed any freedoms while their husbands opening cavorted with other women .

    One day on a shoot in London Mahendar as usual neglects Kalpana for shootings and also for other women and the thoroughly bored Kalpana is intrigued by the paintings of an Indian street painter ( played by Pradeep Verma ) called Vimal . Vimal sees her interest and asks her to pose for his painting . But rains pour in and he offers Kalpana a ride in his car . As they strike up a conversation they both realise that their common interest is painting . Kalpana had to give up painting after marriage as part of the sacrifices an Indian film star's wife had to do for her husband's household but she still dreams of painting . Vimal invites Kalpana to the painting class he learns painting at and she agrees . Her husband Mahendar is so distracted by other women that he goes for film shooting in Switzerland with his current girlfriend leaving her behind alone .

    At the painting class the two are soon attracted to one another and are going out for outings in gardens . One day Kalpana visits Vimal's house and sees a nude painting of herself . She asks him if he dreams of her like that and the inevitable happens---the two bodies are drawn to each other for making love . But back at home Kalpana is riven by guilt . She after all is not a western woman but an Indian woman kept in chains of tradition and extramarital sex is taboo for women like her . She decides to break off with Vimal that very night and phones Mahendar to tell him that she wants to stay with him in Switzerland . But in the dead of the night the phone is picked up by his girlfriend . It is obvious that they are sleeping together . Sick of Mahender's philandering Kalpana decides to continue with Vimal .

    However Mahendar's career receives a further boost as he gets a film in Hollywood . Overjoyed by this news Kalpana decides to give the marriage another chance and decides to accompany Mahendar to Hollywood . But Mahendar throws cold shower over her plans by refusing to take her with him . Angered by this Kalpana gets ever closer to Vimal and dreams of making love with him when her husband is making love to her . She compares the two and finds Vimal to be caring attentive and gentle to her . While the wives of real life film stars like Dharmendra and Raj Kapoor stayed with their husbands for their money Kalpana is not swayed by such considerations because she is made of sterner stuff . She wants a man who is totally for herself and Vimal is not a philanderer like her husband .

    But a woman carrying an extramarital affair would have been castigated by the backward Indian society in the seventies and this fact soon weighs on Kalpana . Mahendar as a man was free to carry on his dalliances with many women but Kalpana as a woman was not free to have a single affair . She decides to cut off Vimal....but he has grown too emotionally attached to her . He asks her to meet him just one more time . Actually Mahendar wants Kalpana to come to Bombay because the members of the press are going to interview him there and he wants Kalpana by his side just for photo ops and to present the perfect picture of him as a family man . But Kalpana relents for the sake of Vimal and postpones her flight to Bombay . And she goes to meet Vimal just one last time , to say goodbye . Vimal cries in her lap like a baby and implores her to stay with him for he needs her more than her husband needs her .

    Torn between the two men Kalpana is at a crossroads of life . All of a sudden things are made easier for her by a phone call from Mahendar . He is freaking mad that Kalpana had not arrived in Bombay on the day he was to be interviewed by the press and could not give fake photo ops as the perfect family man . And for this perfidy Mahendar howls like mad dog on Kalpana on phone . Thoroughly humiliated by the shouting Kalpana finally does what is right . She tells Mahendar in no uncertain terms that she is leaving him and his life for Vimal .

    As Kalpana packed her belongings and went to sit beside Vimal she still was wondering whether she had done right....or so said Vinod Pande the director of the film . But that has never stopped aficionados of true romance like myself and many others from celebrating her liberation....

    Background music and songs are most perfect in the film , reflecting the mood of every moment in the movie . Colours and photography are very decent . Acting is good by both Suresh Oberoi and Deepti Naval as star husband and star wife . But Pradeep Verma brings real vulnerability to his role as lover ; he seems so gentle that any woman would find it hard to break his heart .

    Verdict---Good .

    Four stars out of five .
     
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  9. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    Naam gum jaayega ( 2005 )

    [​IMG]


    I recently realised that I had not reviewed any movie of the actress whom I had loved during my youth--Dia Mirza . I fell in love with her while watching the movie 'Rehna hai tere dil mey' ( Want to stay in your heart ) and went on to watch that movie several times . But I have forgotten parts of the movie by now and a review of that movie will require me to see it again---a chore too much because I have already seen it too many times years back . Not in the mood to see it again , just like I am not in the mood to fall in love with Dia again .

    So I watched 'Naam gum jayega' ( Name will be lost ) , a flop movie of hers ; most of Dia's movies including RHTDM were flops . Now don't ask me why I chose to fall in love with a flop actress . Maybe because the successful ones were all booked !! I chose the movie because it is set in my favourite setting---the high mountains what else , where beauty of nature is abundant and where we Indians rush for vacation to escape the hot climate of India .

    So on to the story . Aryan Srivastav and Divya are off to vacation in the mountains . But as they are driving on the winding mountain roads , they see an unconscious girl ( Dia Mirza ) lying on the road . They revive her and hear her story . She says that her name is Natasha and she fell in love with a boy named Vishal on a college hike months ago . But Vishal was not ready immediately to marry her , so she gave him six months to think about it and came back after six months to meet him . But by this time he had sold the house and the new owner was Nalini Sen . Natasha was agonised by the disappearance of Vishal and Nalini kindly agreed to allow this disturbed girl to stay to see if Vishal ever came back in search for her . But whenever Nalini was out of the house an amorous professor used to come in the house to try to force himself on her . It was to escape his clutches that she was running from the house and fell unconscious .

    Aryan and Divya take Natasha back to Nalini and tell her that they are occult specialists who investigate the paranormal , but usually find that possessed people are just mentally disturbed . They feel that Natasha is similarly mentally disturbed as no one has seen the amorous professor except Natasha . Soon they track Vishal , but he says that he has never seen the girl claiming to be Natasha !! In fact , he says that his girlfriend Natasha is dead and buried . On the other hand the body of the professor is found too . So who is the girl claiming to be Natasha ? Has she murdered the professor and is living with a different identity to hide that fact ?

    But everyone feels that the girl is genuinely mentally disturbed and decide to let her have what she wants---company of Vishal , but without the knowledge of his real girlfriend's death . And the girl claiming to be Natasha is really happy with Vishal near her . And as expected , real love blooms between them as Vishal develops feelings for her .

    But Aryan investigates the whole matter of the professor's death . And finds out that the professor had tried to force himself on the girl in the past . So who was she ? Her real name was Geetanjali and she secretly loved Vishal , who was her friend Natasha's boyfriend . But was mentally disturbed by the professor trying to force himself on her . The professor died by another reason however , and Geetanjali is innocent . Aryan uses hypnotherapy to force Geetanjali to come to terms with the truth . And with Natasha conveniently dead in an accident and buried , it is time for Geetanjali to get united permanently with Vishal . Alls well that ends well....except for the audience .

    The movie which begins as a suspense thriller soon gets bogged down in too many twists and turns and eventually turns uninteresting . Background music and songs are just about okay , but photography is better due to the sights of the pine tree covered green mountains . Acting by everyone is all right . Dia looks okay in some scenes and not so okay in some . Not as good as in RHTDM....

    But critical consensus says that the movie was appreciated by the audience more than I did . Something that gladdened my heart .

    Verdict---Not good .

    One and a half stars out of five .
     
  10. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    Chudail story ( May 2016 )

    [​IMG]


    The opening scene shows a car stopping on a road . A man and his friend get out to see an enticing woman with a lantern waiting for them at a distance . As the man follows her like a moth attracted to a flame , she draws him further into the jungle and then kisses him . But his friend follows in the car only to see the man dead and his eyes blackened . The sexy witch has claimed another victim....and I was hooked onto watching the movie . Because the movie raised hopes of getting to see a seductive witch entice more men into having hot sex with her and raising our temperature .

    Cut to the present . A car carrying five young friends ( three young men and two young women ) gets stuck on the same road in the same jungle . They decide to go to a huge mansion in front of them for help . But are warned by a crazy old man who suddenly jumps in front of them about the witch . Dismissing him as crazy , four of them go into the house and knock the door . And lo !! The door is opened by a goodlooking woman who totally outclasses the two girls in beauty .

    Unsettled by her beauty , the two girls immediately make clear that the two young men are their respective boyfriends so that she does not make a move on them . It's too late , for the two young men are already mesmerised by her beauty . But as the car is not able to move , they are forced to stay for the night in the house .

    The girls broach the topic of the old crazed man warning them about her to the woman , but she says that people are prone to say such things about her because she is a lone beautiful woman living alone . But soon she entices one of the young men by appearing wet and half naked in front of him when he is exploring the house and then begins to set him against his friends . He starts acting strangely making his friends uncomfortable .

    The mechanic called for repairing the car then arrives and talks of the same story of the witch who never allows anyone who enters the house to leave....and sure enough , he is killed by a pike falling on him as he prepares to go out of the house . Not so subtle in her moves is our witch is she....? Well , I was hoping that she would show the same lack of subtlety in bed with one of the young men so that I could watch and salivate at the scene of her in the heat of passion....And sure enough , she soon entices the other young man and a hot love making scene cum song is showcased in the front of us .

    What about the young women ? As expected , everyone in these horror movies is doomed . The other young man left to guard the car then arrives in the house with the same story of the mad old man warning him . The sexy witch then makes the young men fight with each other over the girls by making them believe that the girls are cheating on them with each other . One of the girls then tries to escape but she is dragged by the power of the witch back into the house . One by one each of the young people is killed by the witch , who is taking revenge over society over wrongs committed by her dead husband in the bygone past . She has sex with men and then captures their souls and makes them permanent prisoners of her harem , which is full of souls of dead people left hanging .

    Preeti Soni acts as the witch , and does look sexy in backless blouses which she removes to make wanton love on satin sheets with the hero---one of the young men , played by Amal Sherawat . He becomes the prize catch of the witch's harem of souls of dead men she has {censored}ed and discarded , but his entry in the harem comes at a price ; his girlfriend ( played by Nidhi Nautiyal ) has to be allowed to become the first woman to escape the house ever , the escape being the final act of proving his love for her even though he has succumbed to the charms of the witch . The other girl ( played by Menaka Lalwani ) is not so lucky , and neither are the other young men . This is followed by another hot song with the sexy Preeti Soni enjoying in bed with Amal Sherawat as the movie climaxes .

    Acting by everyone is okay , and photography and colours are good . Background music and songs are decent . The movie rests on the sex appeal of the witch , and Preeti Soni delivers on that front very well . Some of the horror scenes are scary , but if you don't believe in ghosts like me you will find the movie more sexy than scary .

    Verdict---Okay .

    Two stars out of five .
     
  11. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    Prateeksha

    [​IMG]

    This was my second attempt to review a Dia Mirza movie , and any review by me of a Dia Mirza movie is a labour of love....The movie starts awkwardly , but soon gets a grip as it progresses .

    Kishen ( Jimmy Shergill ) comes from rural state of Bihar to the big city to study medicine . In the medical college he runs into Reena Brown ( Diya Mirza ) , who is a Christian and is beautiful and sophisticated and speaks english very well . She looks down upon Kishen as a rural bumpkin and the two are at loggerheads on several occasions . Reason is that Kishen speaks the hindi language in a rural style , and Reena feels that his English must be even worse . Reena has a boyfriend named John Clayton , and he is more understanding towards Kishen . But Reena tries to make her boyfriend play the game of one-upmanship with Kishen , but totally fails . In the college football game she tries to encourage John to score a goal in opposition to Kishen , but John gets injured instead letting Kishen the chance to score the goal . Reena organises a party where Kishen is not invited , but Kishen disturbs it by singing loudly outside it .

    One thing that all this proves is that Kishen is talented in both sports and singing and his popularity rises in the college . Kishen pokes Reena by calling her 'memsaab' ( madam ) , thus making fun of the perceived difference between their status . When John opts out of playing Othello in a college play , it is to Kishen that everyone turns to play that role . Reena is to play Desdemona opposite Othello and detests the idea of Kishen touching her during the play . But Kishen surprises her by playing the role of Othello with aplomb and speaking perfect English while playing it . She is so impressed by his acting and his command over English that she herself touches him during the play and holds his hand in the climax .

    Soon Reena and Kishen begin to hang out together and become friends . But Reena's personal life suddenly goes topsy turvy with her boyfriend John ( whom she is hoping to marry ) coming under the pressure of his father to marry Emily who has come from England . John does deeply regret not being able to marry Reena , and is hardly able to blurt out his refusal to her .

    Kishen who is attracted to Reena from the start however takes to opportunity to woo her by being the person who comforts her in the midst of her heartbreak . And Reena soon turns to him to soothe her aching heart . She finds Kishen to be jovial and boisterous in nature , with passionate views on some subjects . Reena starts missing him if he does not come to the college on a day and goes searching for him to his hostel . And she takes the lead in proposing marriage to him....love is in the air again for her . The two go on dates together and dream of life in each other's arms .

    The issue of their different religions does come up , but Kishen allays Reena's fears by saying that he is an atheist who does not believe in God and will not try to change her religion . They meet her father James ( Anupam Kher ) , who gives his blessings to the marriage . The couple decide to wear each other's religion's clothes for the impending court marriage . And I must say that Jimmy Shergill looks good in dark tie and suit , a far cry from the country bumpkin he started as in the movie . And Dia Mirza in saree looks simply divine....why is it that I was not in that dark tie and suit in Jimmy Shergill's shoes to serenade my darling Dia....?? why ??

    But what is a movie without a twist , and the twist comes in due form with Kishen's father Pandit ( Govind Namdeo ) coming from his village to oppose the marriage . He is too conservative to accept a Christian daughter in law , and plainly tells Reena that he will cut off all relations with his son if he marries her . He says that she will be responsible for the breaking of relations between parents and son , and that no hindu will marry Kishen's sister if he marries a Christian girl . He berates Reena's father James for accepting the marriage and James decides to cut off the marriage plans . Reena comes under pressure to cut off the marriage and she has to tell Kishen that he cannot be her husband . Kishen tries to reason with her but in vain .

    Devastated by all this , Kishen forsakes his family and goes away to find peace in a small town where both communities live in harmony ; Christians worship hindu saints and hindus go to Christian priests when someone is not well . He starts a clinic there and practices as a doctor . But on his table is a still a photo of Dia Mirza....uh , I mean Reena . Many years pass and one day Reena comes searching for him in a completely drunken state .

    She tells him her story . After she tried to reason with her father James to agree to the marriage inspite of Kishen's father's opposition , James told her in a fit of anger that he did not want her anymore because she was brining too much trouble in his life . That she was actually not his legitimate daughter but rather his illegitimate child born of his affair with his maid , the same maid played by Zarina Wahab who had been taking care of the house all these years . The maid is hindu and he has not married her , nor has Reena been baptized . So Reena is neither hindu nor Christian . He then told the mother and daughter to get out of his life . Reena was forced to leave his house and sing in bars and nightclubs wearing exposing clothes and with patrons making advances towards her . She who was once totally against smoking and drinking had now developed habits of heavy drinking and incessant smoking to ward off depression .

    But the real depression she had was of having ruined a good man's life....Kishen's who else....for she wanted to see him practice as a doctor in some big city and earn real money rather than waste his life in some small clinic in some small town . And here she is....standing in front of Kishen asking his forgiveness for ruining his life and his career and offering financial help to help him shift back to the big city , for her father James deeply regretted his treatment of his daughter at the end of his life and willed her all his estate and money .

    But lo !! Reena is the one who gets helped instead . For Kishen has his own story to tell , of his sister marrying outside their caste and finally bringing his father Pandit out of his religious stupor . And the father contacting him asking to bring Reena as his daughter in law because he can't bear to not be with his son , and can't bear to see his son permanently unhappy and unmarried without Reena . And Kishen is willing to accept Reena even though she has had an unsavoury past and he is willing to be patient till she weans herself off her heavy smoking and drinking habits and does not care if she is an illegitimate child of a servant woman who does know if she is hindu or Christian....for he who was once an atheist has begun to believe in the kind of God that does not reside in temples or churches but instead resides in the hearts of true believers....and believers are those who forgive sins and serve others without caring for their faith .

    True love never dies....and for Reena and Kishen , the long wait called prateeksha is truly over . And the long wait called prateeksha was over for me too , of seeing and reviewing a good film of Dia Mirza . For the climax of the movie filled me with emotion . Acting in the film was decent , and colours and photography was not bad too . Background music and songs were okay .

    It was nice to see an interreligious love story come to a happy ending . Seen too many such love stories end up not so happy in real life , crushed as they were by the burden of tradition and the ancient religious codes of the land .

    Verdict---Very decent .

    Three stars out of five .
     
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  12. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    Fever

    [​IMG]


    The movie starts with actor Rajeev Khandelwal walking on a mountain road in Switzerland after alighting from a bus , and actress Gauhar Khan following him in a car and offering him a ride to his destination . He recognises her and accepts the offer of a ride . But as she drives further she pushes him out of the car and he falls below the road in a valley . When he wakes up he finds himself in a hospital , where the doctor informs him that he has not been injured seriously . But he himself realises that he has lost much of his memory . He says that his name is Armin Salem and he is from Paris . But can't remember much beyond that . The doctor ( Victor Banerjee ) thinks that his patient is a good man in trouble and gives him money to survive till he regains his memory . Meanwhile he is discharged from hospital and starts staying in a hotel close by .

    In the hospital and again in the hotel he finds that he is being stalked by the same woman who tried to kill him---actress Gauhar Khan . She entices him by parading in bikinis when he goes to the swimming pool and soon tries to get close to him . She promises to help him regain his memory and begins to embrace and romance him . Gauhar tells him that her name is Kavya . But does she really want him to regain his memory considering the fact that she tried to kill him earlier ?

    Meanwhile Armin does get to remember something in a disjointed jumbled manner and thinks that he may have killed a woman named Rhea Wagner ( Gemma Atkinson ) and that he may have been a professional assassin before he lost memory---a contract killer . When he tells the doctor of this , the doctor plainly tells him that if this is the case then he might have been helping the wrong person and he regrets giving money to him .

    Armin remembers Rhea Wagner further in front of Kavya and says that even though his assignment was to kill Rhea , he fell in love with her beauty instead and went on to have an affair with her . At this point we are treated to some red hot love making scenes between Armin and Rhea and boy!!....Gemma Atkinson does really look beautiful and hot with a lovely pink body and superb silky skin . And Armin fell so deeply in love with Rhea that he dropped the idea of killing her and confessed his real identity to her instead . She threatened to go to the police with the truth and in desperation Armin had to kill her to stop her from doing so .

    But when he goes to Rhea's place , she is not only alive but says that no affair took place between the two and he had met her only once and later sent her some emails . That his real name is not Armin and he is a writer who writes suspense thriller novels . Meanwhile Armin returns to his room to find a woman murdered there . But Kavya helps him dispose off the body . But Armin is now confused as to whether he is Armin or Karan and wonders why Kavya is helping him .

    It is on a car ride with Kavya that he remembers the earlier car ride in which he was attempted to be killed by Kavya and finally everything comes back to him . He is Karan , a writer and Armin is just a character from his novel . He is no contract killer but the contract killer Armin was an identity he picked up after he lost his memory as he could remember only that identity from his novel . And that Kavya is not herself but his wife Pooja . When he confronts Pooja / Kavya with this fact , she admits that she is his wife Pooja . That she left everything including her job for marrying him , but her obsessive love for him began to stifle Karan and he decided to break off from her . But she followed him and in a fit of rage tried to push him into the valley . But when Karan woke up in hospital she could see that he had lost his memory . Pooja felt that she could regain his love in this new condition and hence was helping him . But the girlfriend who he was shacked up with after leaving Pooja had followed him to his hospital and when Pooja saw her she murdered the girlfriend so that she would not come in between them again---the woman whose body was dumped in Karan's hotel room was his girlfriend .

    Pooja now beseeches Karan to come back to her , and says that she has the courage to love someone who does not love back . That all's fair in love , and such quotations are made true by people like her who even murder for true love . But Karan can't bring himself to love a killer and once again Pooja pushes him off the car , but this time only onto the road . She sacrifices her life by deliberately colliding with an oncoming truck because she can't bear to be without Karan .

    Among all these events I found myself falling in love with Pooja....where are these women who are ready to do and die for love ? I have never found one in real life . If I ever found one I would forsake the world and be off with her in a jiffy !!

    Even though no sensational events occur in the movie , the director has kept the suspense running in the movie . We can't figure out what Armin/Karan is going to remember next . The end comes as a genuine surprise , even though some dialogues by Pooja in the movie do give hint that she is a woman desperate in love . Photography of Switzerland is absolutely breathtaking and is given additional lustre by the superb colours of the movie . Songs are really worth humming and background music is nice too . Acting is decent by everyone without being too spectacular . And everyone looks good ; Rajeev Khandelwal as Karan , Gauhar Khan as Pooja and Gemma Atkinson as Rhea . In fact it seems that all actors and actresses in this movie have been chosen for their good looks .

    Having completed this review , I am going to be off in search for someone like Pooja for myself . Someone high on the fever of love....that is what the title of the movie meant , isn't it ?

    Verdict---Very decent .

    Three stars out of five .
     
  13. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    Bezubaan ishq ( 2015 )

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    The movie is set among the mercantile community from the state of Gujarat , many of whom are settled in India's financial capital Mumbai and also overseas.

    The movie shows two girls who are opposites , and their opposite personalities are paradoxical . While Suhani ( Mugdha Godse ) lives in Mumbai , she is a westernised free bird who parties in discos regularly , and drinks alcohol with abandon . Whenever some guy tries to get fast with her due to her uninhibited nature and exposing clothes , her guardian angel is her friend Swagat ( Nishant ) who saves her in the nick of time and fiercely guards her .

    On the other hand Suhani's cousin Rumzhum ( Sneha Ullal ) is into Indian tradition even though she based in London . She is totally understanding by nature and homely , a total contrast to the outgoing Suhani .

    But when Suhani throws a tantrum too many , she is diagnosed with a severe personality disorder . The doctor says that the only solution to her problem is marriage . And who else to marry but her guardian angel Swagat , who is son of her father's friend .

    So Rumzhum and her father ( played by Sachin Khedekar ) come down to Mumbai for the wedding , as the father is brother of Suhani's father ( played by Darshan Jariwala ) . But before the nuptials , they organise a vacation to the Indian state of Rajasthan which is full of palaces and forts .

    On the vacation Swagat and Rumzhum are thrown in each other's company , and begin to have feelings for each other . This is typical of Bollywood films where the Indian traditional female is preferred over the westernised female . Soon the feelings grow intense and reach full scale love . The lovers burn with the intense burning of those who love but can't be together . Reason---Suhani's personality disorder . She has made clear to Swagat that she will kill herself if she even suspects that he is having something to do with another female , and a girl with her psychological problems is very likely to carry out her threat .

    So both Rumzhum and Swagat have to keep quiet over their love for fear of hurting Suhani , and this leads to some emotional scenes whenever they get the chance to meet secretly . Soon Suhani suspects something and goes to commit suicide , and is saved only because she swoons at the last moment . From this moment on , Rumzhum and Swagat have to take extreme care to hide their love . For if Suhani kills herself , her death will be blamed on them.

    But why should they waste their lives for someone else ? Why can't they come together like they want to be ? The matter vexes them for long , but in the end they decide to keep away from each other permanently for sake of the extended family's happiness .

    During this period , a transformation has taken over Suhani . She no longer parties late night and no longer drinks , and has started wearing Indian traditional clothes like saree , though with the backless blouse showing off her sumptuous back . She has grown more serious in nature and is quieter in nature . A storm is building ; it is the calm before the storm....

    One night just before the wedding , Suhani holds Swagat tightly in her arms and cries and says that she will never allow any other woman to take him away from her while she is alive . It is also Rumzhum's birthday and Suhani gives her a gift that she asks Rumzhum to open only next day on the wedding day .

    When Rumzhum opens the gift the next morning , she finds a letter from Suhani . Suhani has written in the letter that she has realised Rumzhum's love for Swagat and has gifted him to her as a birthday gift . And because she has sworn that she would never allow another woman to be with Swagat while she is alive , she has decided to end her own life....

    As everyone rushes to Suhani's room , she is found dead having cut her veins and lying in a pool of blood . And having done so , her sacrifice has totally upstaged the romance between Rumzhum and Swagat . Because the person who does the act of acceptance of reality is always greater than those who cannot face it . Mugdha Godse's acting also goes one better than anyone else's in this period .

    The movie will be liked by women and men will find it corny . Because women have a greater empathy for emotion and love . The emotions are enhanced by some fine emotional songs and good background music . Colours are good and photography is excellent . Acting is okay by everyone .

    Sneha Ullal is the lookalike of Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai , but goes on to increase in weight as the movie progresses . Mugdha Godse is slimmer and fitter . Nishant just looks like an immature boy .

    Verdict---Okay .

    Two and a half stars out of five .
     
  14. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    Girlfriend ( 2004 )

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    The release of this lesbian movie was opposed by the right wing parties and when I went to the theatre where it was supposed to be shown , I and the mod babes who had assembled to see the movie had to return home disappointed ; screening of the movie was not allowed at least in my hometown Mumbai/Bombay . It was later released on youtube .

    The movie shows two girls living together in Goa---Tanya ( Isha Koppikar ) and Sapna ( Amrita Arora ) . They have been childhood buddies . Tanya has physical attraction for Sapna and plainly lusts for her body . She is the 'man' in the twosome and does all the things men do , especially protecting Sapna from men---I mean the real ones . Sapna is not totally unaware of the attraction but seems to brush it aside from her mind . She is more of a 'straight' female and lives happily under protection of Tanya .

    One day in a nightclub a guy named Rahul ( Ashish Chaudhary ) takes up a liking for Sapna and dances with her pretending to be gay , but soon drops the gay act and admits his attraction for her . Sapna is outwardly reluctant but soon succumbs to his pressure , and they start dating together . When Tanya comes to know of this she starts warning Sapna about the ways of men---of dropping women like hot potatoes when they have had their fun . When this does not work , she strikes a bet with Sapna that Rahul with drop her soon . She tries to entice Rahul in bed herself so that it can be proved that he is a two timer , but that ploy fails ; Rahul rejects her advances .

    When Rahul and Sapna plan a vacation together , Tanya forces the two to make her join it and thus spoils their romantic outing . Rahul has one solution to this---he thinks that Tanya needs a man for herself and tries to play matchmaker between his male friend and Tanya . But Tanya rejects the friend's advances with a sharp kick on his back ; she is an expert kickboxer who has fought in roadside duels and won them against men . But this arouses Rahul's suspicions . He keeps a watch on the two girls and sees Tanya caressing Sapna in her sleep . Next day he threatens to call his relationship with Sapna off and asks her if she is also a lesbian . Sapna tells of her one time sex with Tanya years ago under influence of drugs and alcohol , but denies being a regular lesbian and begs Rahul to continue the relationship . He agrees .

    Next night however Tanya has sex again with Sapna after heavily drugging her , and Rahul begins to thinking of ways of weaning Sapna off Tanya . He decides to make Sapna stay with his mother , but Tanya really has fever on hearing this news and Sapna has to stay . Soon heated exchanges of words begin between Rahul and Tanya whenever they meet . Tanya's possessiveness for Sapna reaches unbearable limits and she tries to kill Rahul by attacking him in a mask . But he survives and refuses to identify the attacker to the police . Reason---both he and his friend who had been attacked when he had made advances feel ashamed to admit that they were not able to tackle a woman physically .

    When Rahul again makes plans to date Sapna again , they are expertly foiled by Tanya . Rahul follows them and again sees Tanya caressing a drunk Sapna in a discotheque . Next day he confronts Sapna and calls off the relationship . He warns her that Tanya will never allow her to date a man and have a family and children . That she is a lesbian and loves Sapna madly and is in complete control of her life .

    But Sapna discovers she is too deeply in love with Rahul to stop seeing him and grieves his absence . Tanya tries all tricks to hold on to Sapna but fails . In sheer desperation Tanya goes to Rahul's house to kill him with a knife . But Sapna follows her and her intervention saves his life . In the ensuing fight it is Tanya who is killed . Both Rahul and Sapna are sad even though Tanya tried to kill Rahul , for she was a true lover who loved Sapna deeply . They go regularly to Tanya's grave to place flowers on it ; so was Tanya a Christian for her to be buried in a grave ?

    And I was sad too for Tanya's death , for she looked so hot in the movie that she didn't deserve to die pining for a girl but deserved a man's caresses....mine , to be precise[​IMG]....yeah Isha Koppikar looks hot in love making scenes that are repeatedly shown in the movie , ooohing and aaahing and making moaning sounds....and she moves so boldly in bed and looked so ravishing making love in top position , and I don't mind woman on top position[​IMG] She looked equally sexy wearing hot pants and gyrating in nightclubs in miniskirts . Amrita Arora looks decent as Sapna and also has some body exposure and sensuous dances . Ashish Chaudhary looks like a cool dude .

    Songs are decent and background music is even better . Photography of Goa's sun kissed beaches and the blue sea all around is top class and makes the movie a visual treat . Acting is decent by everyone . The movie however will not be liked by the LGBT community for it shows the lesbian to be a villain . Furthermore , Tanya has been shown to have turned lesbian not due to internal sexual desires but due to her past experiences ; she was regularly beaten by her dad and sexually abused by a man in childhood , thus making her hate men . The LGBT community may think this to be the wrong way to show a lesbian .

    Verdict ---okay .

    Two and a half stars .
     
  15. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    A scandall ( 2016 )

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    The film is set in beautiful setting of the himalayan hill station of Nainital , a great location for photography of a lake surrounded by green tree covered mountains . Here arrive four friends from a film institute in Delhi in search of a topic for filming a film . They are Koya (Reeth Mazumder), Vidhu (Johny Baweja), Prabal (Puru Chibber), Asmi (Vasundhara Kaul) . It is Koya who has given the idea that has brought them here .

    Koya's uncle Manav ( Manav Kaul ) has recently lost his only daughter Kuhu to drowning in the Nainital lake . After this he has started claiming that he can make contact with his dead daughter and can feel her presence around him . The four friends feel that this paranormal experience should be filmed by them . So they arrange a planchette in which the dead Kuhu's spirit really arrives and they can feel it .

    But Manav's psychiatrist says that Manav is a manic depressive and that he is seeing only hallucinations . Also that Manav has developed a habit of cybersex recently . To film all this the four put cameras in hidden positions everywhere without Manav's and his wife knowledge . Also they have a flying helicopter camera to record in night .

    Manav's wife ( Tanvi Vyas ) says that after the accident Manav has not had sex with her . But the helicopter camera shows Manav indulging in sadomasochism during cybersex . Also he forces his wife to participate in sadomasochism . His wife later confesses that she has seen Manav having sadomasochism with another girl recently .

    All these revelations force Koya to ask her boyfriend Vidhu to stop the filming because it is having a deleterious effect on her uncle and his wife . But Vidhu sees the chance of a good film in the making and refuses to stop . Angered by this Koya forcibly climbs on top of Prabal to kiss him in order to take revenge on Vidhu and make him jealous . This in turn makes Prabal's girlfriend Asmi jealous and she berates Prabal for this .

    But soon Manav too molests Koya like a possessed man . This drives Vidhu to anger . All of a sudden we are treated to a hot sensuous song and dance between Koya and Vidhu . That is what I was watching the film for anyway . Later the whole group minus Manav meet a person ( Vatsaal Raja ) who does seances , and he is able to uncork the truth of the whole matter from Koya . Yeah , it is Koya who is at the heart of the mystery . Just like she is the heart of the film .

    But before the mystery is solved , we are treated to one more sexy song and dance featuring Koya . Reet Mazumder does look hot gyrating on these songs in exposing clothes . And the film is part suspense mystery and part chicksploitation flick for sex maniacs courtesy Reet and her hot kissing scenes and her body exposure .

    So what is the mystery ? Actually Koya ( Reet ) has had a boyfriend who was into sadomasochism with her during sex . But he started to prey on little Kuhu too , and Koya had to kill him for attempting paedophilia . But after his death his evil spirit now has entered Manav's body and that is why Manav has developed the habit of kinky cybersex and sadomasochism with his wife . So Koya has to kill Manav too , and then she kills herself for hiding this for so long . End of story .

    The photography of naturally beautiful Nainital is good , and background music and songs are good too . Acting however is below par and editing of scenes is horrible . Sequence of one scene after another seems disjointed and the two sexy songs appear out of nowhere in between scenes . The idea behind making the film had some real promise but it has not been filmed properly at all .

    Verdict---Bad .

    One and a half star out of five .
     
  16. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    Half girlfriend ( 2017 )

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    Arjun Kapoor arrives from the eternal rustic place shown in Bollywood movies---the rural state of Bihar what else---and he comes to Indian capital city Delhi to study in a college full of the high brow crowd . Coming from this rustic place as he is , his English is not good . But he impresses Shraddha Kapoor who is another student , by helping her with her basketball skills . She comes from a rich family and wears chic clothes exposing her lovely body and Arjun naturally gets attracted to her .

    Arjun asks Shraddha out for a movie and she agrees provided he does not treat it as a date but as a friendly outing . But when Arjun tries to get close to her she does not respond . However she does remain his friend . Part of the reason for this is that Arjun is a genuinely nice guy . But why does a rich girl coming from the high class society have to get even friendly with Arjun , who comes from a totally different background ? The reason is that Shraddha's father is abusive and beats her mother , and hence she has no peace of mind in her house . She rather gets peace of mind singing alone in the college auditorium and by getting wet in rain that cools her body and mind .

    But the latest thing that cools Shraddha's mind is Arjun's rustic company and his simple nature , and hence she hangs out with him giving thrust to his hopes of a real relationship developing between them . One day she gets emotional and kisses him on his lips . She invites him for her birthday celebration in her posh house . But here the stark contrast between their classes is all too apparent to Arjun and he questions her about the nature of their relationship . She replies that she is his half girlfriend . When he returns back to college his friends say that half girlfriend means that she is going to use him and drop him , and she is playing with his emotions as he is in love with her .

    His friends push Arjun to try to have sex with Shraddha and one day in his hostel room he tries to get close to her and she responds , but when he tries to make love she pushes him away . There is a heated argument between the two and in a fit of anger Arjun pushes Shraddha and she falls . He quickly apologises but Shraddha ends the relationship . The next time she talks to him , she has fixed her marriage to somebody else and invites Arjun to her wedding . Arjun is heartbroken and he goes back to his village in Bihar to try to forget Shraddha . He devotes his time to get girls educated in his village and wants to build a school where girls can be educated along with boys , because the pressing problem of Bihar is the lack of interest that parents show to send girls to school there .

    But an year later he comes to the capital city of Bihar called Patna for getting a loan passed by the Bill Gates foundation for schooling for girls , and he is confronted by Shraddha's presence . Once more his feelings for her are aroused and he takes her help in getting the loan passed . He asks her to come visit his village and Shraddha readily agrees . At his village Arjun's mother gets introduced to Shraddha . She asks her as to what happened to Shraddha's marriage , and Shraddha replies that she got divorced within a few months of marriage . Arjun's mother , who comes from a very conservation part of India then wonders aloud as to how long a girl who left her husband so fast would stay with her son . Incensed by this , Shraddha leaves the next day telling Arjun that she has cancer and does not have long to live . But she also leaves a letter saying that she loves him .

    Arjun goes to Shraddha's house in Delhi to get her back for himself , but her mother tells him that she has disappeared for months . Arjun then remembers that Shraddha's wish was to sing in a bar in New York before she died , and he flies to New York to live in a friend's place . He is sure that Shraddha has taken up a job in some bar in New York , and like a man madly in love he searches for her from bar to bar in vain . His friend tries to fix him up with another girl , but Arjun remains passionately in love with Shraddha .

    To be honest I was impressed with the mad passion of Arjun's love for Shraddha and his quest for getting his love ; Arjun Kapoor's acting does turn one notch higher as he remains devoted to the memory of Shraddha....yes memory , for now it is a long time since her blood cancer diagnosis and surely she must have died....

    But behold the truth of the saying that fortune favours the brave and luck favours the most persistent !! One day Arjun does find Shraddha singing in a bar in New York....she is fit and fine and she had lied to him about dying due to cancer , for she wanted him to forget herself because of his conservative mother's opposition to her bachelor son's marriage to a divorcee . But his long journey to find her convinces her of his real and true love for her , and she finally agrees to marry him and comes with him to settle in his village . If love is a pilgrimage and his lover is God for Arjun , the pilgrim has found his destination . It's been a long and difficult journey but it has been worth it .

    The movie too is worth spending your prescious time watching it for more than two hours , because you too might get impressed like me with Arjun's zeal for love . Acting by everyone is good and the movie has some sentimental and emotional scenes . Colours are good and photography makes a backward place like Bihar look green and attractive . Background music is decent and songs are decent too . Shraddha Kapoor looks lovely as usual .

    Verdict---Decent .

    Three stars out of five .
     
  17. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    An officer and a gentleman ( 1982 )

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    Richard Gere plays aviation officer candidate Zack Mayo . He has not had a great childhood . His mom overdosed with sleeping pills in his childhood thus committing suicide and leaving him in the responsibility of his whoring father , who was in the navy . Zack grew up among his father's whores in various US naval bases in different countries . So Zack is a rebel .

    But a burning ambition to fly navy jets brings him to a training base inspite of his father's incredulousness , where he is under the training of Sergeant Emil Foley ( Louis Gossett Jr ) . Foley is a tough sergeant and training under him is exceptionally harsh . Foley is forever shouting at his trainees and taunting them and forces them to undergo gruelling exercises . He punishes very harshly for the slightest misdemeanour .

    Zack being a rebel , comes to loggerheads with Foley on numerous occasions . Zack sells buckles as a side business and is rigorously punished by Foley for doing so . In fact Foley pushes him to the breaking point , until Zack is forced to admit to him that he has nowhere else to go except the navy . But that is not the last time the two come to loggerheads and things have to be settled between them in a karate bout in the end .

    Zack has other team mates with him , and his best friend is Sid Worley ( David Keith ) . The two get into romantic relationships with Paula Pokrifki ( Debra Winger ) and Lynette Pomeroy ( Lisa Blount ) respectively . This inspite of Sergeant Foley having warned them about local girls who might trap them into marriage by becoming pregnant , as they have dreams of marrying naval aviators to escape the dreary life of the town . The girls come from working class families and work in a factory there . The local boys are jealous about the navy boys getting the best girls and then dumping them and Zack and Sid get into a fight with the locals in which Zack's karate skills come mighty handy to defend themselves .

    Paula develops real feelings of love for Zack , who promises nothing to her at all . It is exactly this kind of attitude that irks Lynette , who is determined to trap Sid into marriage . But she goes one step ahead than other girls in this ; she fakes pregnancy which is not there . On the other hand Paula invites Zack to her house to meet her family , where Zack sees her father giving him strange looks . Outside the house Paula tells Zack that he is not her real father , who was exactly an aviation officer candidate like Zack . But he dumped her mother after fathering Paula , and she had to marry the man giving Zack strange looks because he was wondering if Zack would do the same to Paula that her real father had done to her mother....

    Meanwhile we are shown the rough basic training that aviation officer candidates get before they can qualify for further training to fly jets . It consists of miles and miles of running singing songs in order to make one tough physically . It also consists of climbing obstacles that one female candidate finds really difficult until Zack eggs her on to climb . Also it consists of simulating an aircraft crashing in water after being hit and how to survive the dive . Karate training is given by Sergeant Foley ( who is a tall and extremely fit black man ) himself to the candidates to survive in physical combat with the enemy . Also it consists of surviving in low oxygen atmosphere .

    It is in the last part that Sid cannot handle the pressure , as he is under mental tension due to Lynette's faked pregnancy . He decides to take a D. O. R.---that is drop on request ; basically decides to quit the training . This inspite of being the best candidate so far . But when he tells this to Lynette and asks her to marry him , she tells him that she is not pregnant and refuses to marry him because he is no longer going to be a naval aviator . With both his career and his woman gone , Sid is shattered and commits suicide . Zack and Paula search the town for him until they find Sid having hanged himself in a motel room .

    Zack is angry with Sergeant Foley for not having stopped Sid from taking a D. O . R. and the two head for a fight in the karate training arena . But inspite of the bitterness Foley grudgingly acknowledges that Zack was a special candidate when the time for graduation comes .

    When graduation happens other candidates meet and embrace their near and dear ones , who have come to cheer them . But Zack is left alone with no one to cheer him , as his unworthy father has not come to salute his son who has become an officer . There is one solution to this loneliness and that is to be with Paula , because she truly loves Zack . And committing himself to the lady who really loves him will make Zack a real gentleman . An officer and a gentleman....

    The climax in which Zack arrives in the factory to lift Paula in his arms to the cheers of those working there including Paula's mother ( and to Lynette's chagrin ) is about the most uplifting and romantic climax you would ever see in a movie . And it lifts the movie to a class that is way above other movies of the same category .

    Background music and photography is good and acting by everyone is good too . The movie show people from working class backgrounds and their dreams and ambitions . Some people are honest like Paula and others like Lynette are dishonest . Even the candidates for naval aviation are from working class backgrounds , including Zack whose father was just a petty officer in the navy . Not the elite of America are these people....but the movie was liked by even the elite critics , who ranked it the best movie of 1982 . And I liked it too .

    Verdict---Good .

    Four out of five stars .
     
  18. ashdoc

    ashdoc Movie Critic SPNer

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    Sins ( 2005 )

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    'Sins' movie is based on a real life story of a catholic priest involved in a sexual relationship with a girl . The movie was opposed by the christian community of India as they thought that the portrayal would give a bad name to catholic priests in particular and christians in general . The movie as well as the real life story happened in the southern state of Kerala , which had a large number of christians in the 80s when the story happened . Today the christians in Kerala are dwindling somewhat in numbers .

    Father William ( Shiney Ahuja ) begins as a kind priest who helps a girl named Rosemary ( Seema Rahmani ) whose bicycle has broken down to reach her exam centre . She is studying to be a nurse . The girl develops a friendship with him and asks him to help her learn driving a car . Once when she has to push the car stuck in a ditch , she gets dirt on her clothes . She has to remove the clothes in the priest's house and he gets to see her lovely back and body half naked . Urged by uncontrollable lust , William embraces her and takes her to his bed for making love and she responds to his overtures . What we get to see is a love making scene with topless half nudity of Seema Rahmani---the actress playing Rosemary , that gives you the hots . There are other such scenes of love making in half naked form in the film and boy , they do give you the hots .

    Soon a sexual relationship develops between William and Rosemary , and her brother and her mother do not object . In fact they want financial favours in lieu of Rosemary's sexual favours for the father . Years pass . But the whole thing becomes well known and Rosemary's reputation is tarred . India is a conservative society and a girl in an unholy relationship with a catholic priest is shunned . People throw her out of gatherings of respectable people and she is greatly disturbed by this .

    At first William is disturbed by his own sinful behaviour and repeatedly goes to confess his sins to another priest in disguise . He also does repentance for his sins as prescribed by the priest . But soon lust overtakes him and he becomes unrepentant . Rosemary wants him to marry her by leaving the catholic order so that she gains respectability and is not shunned by society any more . He starts dilly dallying on this point of marriage .

    The matter soon escalates when William is about to be promoted to Vicar , which will make him a powerful person . He refuses Rosemary's entreaties to marry her as it will ruin his career . She realises that he has become a selfish person and is disgusted . To mollify her William marries her off to Graham ( Nitesh Pande ) , who is a person indebted to him by some past favour . But Graham and Rosemary are forbidden by William to come close . Rosemary has to remain William's woman and his only according to him .

    But Graham and Rosemary soon develop an emotional connection , and they would like to be together as a real man and wife . But Father William employs goons to keep a watch on them and intimidate Rosemary into remaining loyal to him . He becomes increasingly violent and beats and kicks her into submission . Amazingly , the entire local catholic establishment does not censure him for his unethical behaviour . Speaks volumes about the rot in the establishment .

    Graham however meets Rosemary in the dead of the night and they make passionate love . The scene is beautifully pictured with emotional music and remains a romantic memory of love making from the movie . I liked the movie best at the point of the scene .

    Soon Graham hatches a plan to help Rosemary escape to Bombay---as the city of Mumbai was known at that time . And they escape out of William's clutches seemingly . But her mother naively tells William about the spot where Rosemary used to go alone to reflect on herself . That spot is on a lonely stretch near the sea and has a cross . Rosemary also spent some romantic moments with Graham there . Rosemary used to pray to the cross , which shows that even an alleged heretic like her who was in an unholy sexual relationship with a priest needs God to form a spiritual connection . Even sinners need the almighty....

    One day when Rosemary's mother ( played by Uttara Baokar ) is alone at the spot , William surprises her there and brutally kills her by strangling her with his bare hands . His transformation as villain is complete . Meanwhile Rosemary is pregnant with Graham's child and is on top of her happiness in Bombay . The news of her mother's death brings her happiness crashing down and she and Graham have to come back to Kerala . She meets William , who repeatedly kicks her in the abdomen and punches her till she begs for mercy on her unborn child and William then allows her to go .

    Rosemary contacts the police because she is suspicious that William killed her mother and the police begin to gather evidence about the murder . The church authorities in Quilon are informed and the noose is being tightened around William's neck . Police guards are posed to protect Rosemary as William is hell bent on revenge for this . But one day tragedy strikes ; William's goons get past the police guards and murder Rosemary by knives .

    William is doomed by his acts ; doomed by his uncontrollable lust for Rosemary and his open venture into a life of sin . His sins have caught up with him . He is captured by police and condemned to death by the court , and he unrepentantly tells Graham before his hanging that he killed Rosemary because he loved her and wanted to punish her for her disloyalty . But her forgets that Rosemary wanted to marry him and his own desire to stick to his position in the church was what turned her to the arms of another man .

    The light eyed and able bodied Shiney Ahuja doesn't look like a priest , to be honest . He looks like a hero of a film rather than a villain . He later was accused of rape in real life by his maid . Wonder if his role in this film had some mental effect on him....??

    Acting and photography is good , and the film is in english language throughout . Seema Rahmani is not goodlooking but her sensuous lovemaking scenes do give you the hots .

    Verdict---decent .

    Three stars out of five .
     

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