Guddu Rangeela **
Dir: Subhash Kapoor
Starring: Arshad Warsi, Amit Sadh, Aditi Rao Hydari, Ronit Roy, Shriswara, Amit Sial, Brijendra Kala, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Rajeev Gupta.
Arshad Warsi and Amit Sadh play two petty small-town musicians-cum-crooks (or robbery abettors, to be exact – you’ll have to see the movie to know exactly what I mean) who get involved in a get-rich-quick kidnapping scheme where the kidnap victim is a deaf-mute girl (Aditi Rao Hydari). But there’s more to her than meets the eye and the boys also have to contend with a violently nasty Haryanvi village leader-cum-petty-politician (Ronit Roy) who has secrets of his own as well as a corrupt cop (Amit Sial).
The cast here is quite good. Arshad Warsi is as solid as ever as is Ronit Roy and I really wish the fetching Ms. Hydari would get bigger and better roles in bigger films – she’s got the looks and talent for it. But the actors have to contend with a schizophrenic screenplay which despite some subtly funny bits can’t really decide whether it wants to be a comic crime caper or a violent revenge drama or a rant against social injustices. Combine that problem with plot holes galore, not too many memorable or original scenes, and a frankly ridiculous climax making it difficult to recommend this movie.
More’s the pity because director Subhash Kapoor has shown promise with his earlier efforts (Jolly LLB, Phas Gaye Re Obama) and Arshad Warsi and Aditi Rao Hydari really do deserve better.
Cut to chase: Few bits click but most don’t.
Starring: (voices of) Rihanna, Jim Parsons, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez
The latest animated feature from Dreamworks – adapting Adam Rex’ children’s book The True Meaning Of Smekday – brings us the tale of an 11-year old girl, Tip (Rihanna) who teams up with an oddball alien called Oh (Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory fame) to track down her mother (Jennifer Lopez) who has been banished to an internment camp in Australia, along with all the other humans on Earth by Oh’s fellow Boovs (yup, that’s what the Earth conquering aliens are called). The Boovs – led by the pompous Smek (Steve Martin) who thinks the best solution to any sign of danger is to run away – are a bit oblivious but they aren’t really all that bad. They just have problems of their own – namely trying to avoid discovery by a nasty alien race called the Gorg who seem intent on eliminating the Boov.
There is some pretty good funny stuff here – most of it supplied by Oh (how Oh got his name is one of the funniest bits in the movie and Jim Parsons has fun with Oh’s Yoda-like speech patterns) though Smek has his moments too – but Home starts to lose steam as it goes along. It does pick up again as the final confrontation with the Gorg approaches but, ultimately, the movie really doesn’t offer us anything new either. That being said, the young ones should get a reasonable amount of enjoyment out of this one and the adults will find it painless enough.
Cut to chase: Funny and cute but runs out of steam somewhat.