Tag Archives: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Film Review: Toofan (2021)

Toofan is a fictional sports drama of a local extortionist Aziz Ali (Farhan Akhtar) in Dongri who begins to take boxing seriously and face challenges while trying to make his name.

Okay, first of all, this is Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra‘s film who has the distinction to have directed some critically acclaimed Dilli-themed pictures like Rang De Basanti, Delhi-6, and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. So you expect him to deliver another masterpiece remembering how excellent those films were. Unfortunately, that is not the case this time. Something is wrong with Toofan. Not something, a lot of things.

The Rakeysh-Farhan magical combo from Bhaag Milkha Bhaag had too much at stake to surpass the hype of presenting another sports drama on the same line of sublime artistry. But perhaps Rakeysh overthought about the consequences and lost in execution.

One thing about Toofan being a sports drama is that in the first hour, you as a viewer ask yourself do you actually need to watch just another boxing story with stereotypical content. Why am I watching? The first half an hour makes you think how is it any different from any other boxing dramas you have watched. It is sooo sooo predictable.

And then the love angle, where you get the obviousness of the sub-plot connections for the next 30 minutes in rolling. The best friend of the leading character being the most best friend thing ever. The strictest coach rejecting the boxer in the beginning and getting impressed later enough to take him to the competition. The dialogues are less-inspiring.

The score is okayish and the tracks (besides ‘Ananya’ track) sound like some old unused tracks from Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy‘s warehouse finally getting played. The reason I say this is because Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to Excel Entertainment is what A.R.Rahman is to Madras Talkies, mostly giving top-class music and tracks throughout their career.

Even Rakeysh’s direction lost grip on many scenes where he could have made an impact. He badly missed using Farhan and Paresh‘s talents to use in the tragedy scenes when Farhan sees the body at the platform and Paresh throws the ashes in the sea. They could have done wonders there. And Supriya Pathak is terribly wasted in such a short character.

After an hour when the coach realizes who Toofan loves is exactly when the film gets interesting. Out of 160 screen minutes, it is the middle part that is the heart of the film that has nothing to do with boxing. A Muslim boxer marrying a Hindu doctor and breaking stereotypes is something I wanted to see in the film and has been depicted so well. The rising conflicts of an interfaith marriage is a subject less challenged in writing.

Farhan’s body transformation and those exercises are also the best portions of the film. In acting, Farhan didn’t come up to the Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara levels. It was Paresh Rawal who played an excellent supporting role.

For the sake of the middle portion of the plotting, Toofan deserved better writing, a potential screenplay to run on the sensitive blades of the content which the film terribly missed.

Ratings: 3/10

Movie Review: Kai Po Che (2013)

Dil Chahta Hai, Rock On and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara all buddy movies had one thing common. All were urbanized. Abhishek Kapoor, who himself directed ‘Rock On’, used Chetan Bhagat’s novel ‘The 3 Mistakes of my Life’ as center-base and produced 3 middle-class Gujrati friends to mark a highly exceptional movie with an inspiring bond of friendship with a passage of time running with a limit. UTV Motion Pictures rocks again with ‘Kai Po Che’.

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First, what is ‘Kai Po Che’? This is a Gujrati phrase that ‘I have cut the kite’. There is the only kite cutting scene where a friend roars up the title name of movie otherwise the name itself doesn’t really justify with the story at all. 

The movie is set in Ahmadabad, Gujarat back in 2000. The core characters are 3 childhood friends; Govind, Omkar (Omi) and Ishaan (Ish).

  1. Govind is the smartest of all, educated and well wit in accounts and plans for a business venture of sports accessories.
  2. Ishaan is highly ambitious cricket lover who suffered his cricketing time due to politics but want to produce highly talented cricketers from different districts.
  3. Omkar is the middleman between the two who is a source of financing their dreams into reality.

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Omi is nephew of Hindu politician Bittu mama and convinces him for a loan to get a place to open the shop. They get a shop for a business and a ground behind to train cricket to young lads. Ishan finds a richly talented hitter in a Muslim boy, Ali, belonging to a father running his political party in their community’s interest and in rivalry of Bittu mama’s party.

As the business grows, they open one more shop in a commercial mall. Meanwhile, Ishaan convinces Govind to teach his sister, Vidya, maths as exams are close. The teacher-student fells in love but hide their relation.

2001 is the year of a massive tragedy of earthquake in Gujarat where they lose their newly acquired shop in commercial mall. Ishaan is so much in Ali’s family and his community that he helps them find their shelter after their heavy loss. Whereas Omi begins working in his mama’s party and dedicated fully on Hindu’s interests. Ishaan and Omi’s friendship hits on communal issues.

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The Gujarat elections begin and Omi goes busy in mama’s politics. Ali’s father surprisingly wins elections over Bittu’s party. During political campaign, Bittu sends kar sevaks to Ayodhya to Ram Mandir which includes Omi’s parents. Then news of Godhra Train Massacre hits all over Gujarat with a conspiracy that large no of Muslims burnt the train with all kar sevaks alive.

This news coveys a message of bloody riots to happen in Gujarat between Hindus and Muslims. The bond of Govind, Omi and Ishaan hiccups in 2002 Gujarat riots with Vidya’s love and Ali’s cricket in the cradle of justice.

The movie is a remarkable storytelling and pacefully directed by Abhishek. Raj Yadav is one acting name with a lot of talent who got popular movies like Love Sex and Dhoka, Gangs of Wasseypur 2 and Talaash in the beginning. With role of Govind, he do justice. Amit Sadh and Sushant Singh Rajput, both marks debut as Omi and Ishan respectively and comes surprisingly from soap operas. Amrita Puri  who was Sonam’s friend in ‘Aisha’ makes a good role as Ish’s sister and Govind’s love interest.

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All the cast justified their role but I will rate Sushant and Manav Kaul’s roles as Ishaan and Bittu high as both were brilliant. Stage actor is terrific with a balance of his justification with pros and cons. Songs are well picturised and background score is tuning. The novel-based movie is of no nonsense but widely realistic and acceptable e.g. Indian cricket kits used in 2000 or Ishaan’s own cricketing skills make you think if he really is a player but he got 4 months cricket training under 2 coaches to make his role perfect. All homes are real where the characters lived showing simplicity of Gujarat life.

Movie Status: One of best Hindi movies of 2013

Rating: 8.6/10