Paathshala Movie Review

PaathshalaStarring: Shahid Kapoor, Ayesha Takia, Nana Pateka, Saurabh Shukla, Sushant Singh, Swini Khara, Dwij Yadav, Avika Gor, Anjan Srivastava

Director: Milind Ukey

Rating: **

There are few films, a star does for friendship and some with the lure of working under a big banner, irrespective of their content.

An extremely choosy actor Shahid Kapoor after giving big hits like Vivaah, Jab We Met and Kaminey has been giving duds like Dil Bole Hadippa (Yash Raj Films), Chance Pe Dance (UTV) and an equally bad follow up with Paathshaala.

Shahid’s friendship with producer of the film, ace choreographer Ahmed Khan is well known. But still we wish, he should have not blindly trusted his buddy when it came to a film!

Shahid plays Rahul Prakash Udyawar the new English teacher joining Saraswati Vidya Mandir, a school established in 1941. Since the school doesn’t have a music teacher, he ends up being one as well.

He gets help in this from the school's nutritionist-cum-admin girl, Anjali Mathur (Ayesha Takia). School principal Aditya Sahay (Nana Patekar).

Anjali ends up falling for Rahul during this process. Sahay who has nurtured the school for 32 years, cannot see it going down financially. So, he gives in to the management's demands of generating more revenue by commercialising the operations of the school.

This is met with intense opposition from the teachers, but they eventually have to comply to save their respective jobs. The school management even decides t hired PR experts to change its image.

Thus began, film and ad shoots happen on campus wherein students are used as extras. And before they know it, all kids have to now keep aside studies for 10 days and prepare for a reality show audition.

The rest of the film is about how the reality show thing tortures the students and how Rahul stands against it.

Director Milind Ukey who gave us the very lovable animated film Hanuman has got a good topical subject on hand but falters big time in the script written by producer Ahmed Khan himself.

While it identifies the problems perfectly, a proper solution is not offered in the end. Also what happens to the school finally is also not made clear.

Bad dialogues are made only worse by loud acting by most of the cast. Certain emotional scenes leave you either bored or end up making you laugh. Hanif Sheikh’s music barring the Lucky Ali number Aye Khuda is nothing much to praise about.

In an attempt to showcase how education goes for a toss in private schools as the managements aims to earn the extra buck the makers also don’t lose out a chance to make a satire out of the media, shifting focus from his original aim.

The pathetic climax is unintentionally hilarious with no conclusion to what happened to the villains of commercialization and all suddenly become well!

Shahid Kapoor and Nana Patekar are the only saving graces of the film with their well nuanced performances. The rest including Ayesha Takia don’t really make a difference. The child stars are just about okay.

Avoid this Paathshaala if you are in no mood for a badly written gyan giving film.

Movie Review Phoonk 2

Phoonk 2By Subhash K Jha

Starring Sudeep, Amruta Khanvilkar, Neeru, Amit Sadh, Ahasaas Channa

Directed by Milind Gadagkar

Rating: **

In one of his multitudinous interviews to promote this intended shiver giver Ram Gopal Varma said the scariest film he had seen in recent times was Karan Johar’s Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna.

Now that’s a scary thought. Because Johar’s film didn’t belong to the horror genre. Phoonk 2 does.And it is definitely NOT the scariest film we’ve seen. Varma’s terror theme has clearly run its course. What we see here are the remanents of another Friday. And definitely not Friday The 13th.

Perched somewhere between crowing (ahem ahem) about the supernatural and crying over the nerve-wracking disruption of domestic harmony by a ghost which just won’t go away Phoonk 2 is like that promised rollercoaster ride which gets aborted in the first lap because of a short circuit.

It’s not really Varma or his director Milind Gadkar’s fault. It’s the nature of the material.

Ram Gopal Varma’s love for horror has never extended beyond the there’s-something-under-the-bed kind of unwarranted foreboding that we all feel in a new environment.

In a majority of his horror films a family moves into a new haunted home and experiences the eerie.

Ironically Varma’s best effort in the horror genre was Kaun where the victim of terror (Urmila Matondkar) was stalked by unseen forces in her own familiar home. The terror, it turned out was not under the bed, but in the mentally disturbed girl’s head.

There wasn’t much terror let alone horror in Phoonk. Under the bed, or in the head.

In Phoonk 2 the characters’ screeching plea to have us believe they are under immediate peril is sadly not communicated to the viewers . We remain tragically detached from the trauma of Kannada star Sudeep’s family.

Haven’t we seen it all?

By now the trademark Varma camera movements, here manoeuvred with emphatic energy by cinematographer Charles Meher, and the intricate cluttured but effective sound design (Jayesh Dhakkan, Jayant Vajpayee) do nothing to suck us into the plot.

The technique remains unfastened to the characters.Their desperate attempts to get away from the supernatural remain desperately detached from the audience.

At the end of the 2-hours into the zone of error-terror we are left wondering why Varma threw open a contest inviting any viewer to undergo an ECG to check his heartbeats.

It is this film that needs a respiratory system. Varma’s last horror outing Agyaat with its spooky ominous wide-open jungles was far more gripping.

In Phoonk 2 you wonder what the fuss is about. These people have nothing to fear except fear itself.

And yes, Ramu was right. The crow does come up with the best performance. And that’s nothing to crow about.

Bachchans' new abode: A plush bungalow in Goa

Bachchans` new abode: A plush bungalow in Goa!Goa, the land of the sun and the surf, is the dream destination for most people. It's an ideal holiday spot, for weekend getaways as well as for long vacations! Even Bollywood's premier family, the Bachchans is captivated by its allure. They were recently house hunting in North Goa.

The Bachchans wish to acquire a property in the Goa. Reportedly they will be purchasing a bungalow in the picturesque village of Aldona. It belongs to a Kashmiri and is a beautiful, colonial mansion.

The house boasts of Portuguese architecture and also has a swimming pool attached. Big B and AB were at the property recently to look over it and they were very pleased with the overall ambience of the place.

Abhishek Bachchan is presently in Goa shooting for Rohan Sippy's Dum Maro Dum in the Canacona region. The family is keen to acquire the place to have a getaway from the mad rush of Mumbai.

Amitabh has been fascinated with Goa since he shot for the seventies hit Bombay to Goa. Naturally, the news has caused a flurry among the locals, who can't believe that Bollywood reigning stars might soon be amongst them.

So let's hope they soon attain their Goa home!

Abhishek and Aishwarya off to NY for wedding anniversary

Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan On this day, three years ago, there was an entire blitz of media surrounding Bachchan's bungalow in Juhu. The reason? It was on this very same day that Abhishek and Aishwarya tied the knot. Now three years later, the couple with much love intact have decided to disappear off to a location well hidden from the glitzy glare of the media and the prying eyes of public.

Abhishek who has been vociferously tweeting his mind has apparently taken wifey dearest to New York as a celebration for their third anniversary. Confirming this is father dearest, Amitabh's blog post stating, "He is on a rather long flight right now, as we connect, to New York with Aishwarya. And of course I shall tell him all the reactions that came by for the first promo of his film 'Ravana'... !!"

With his film, Ravaan, coming up for release and promos being aired, Abhishek definitely needs a break from his hectic schedule and who better than wife Aishwarya.

You can wish Abhishek and Aishwarya on their wedding anniversary by posting your wishes in the comments section.