Tag Archives: Genelia D’Souza

Movie Review: Force 2 (2016)

force23 Stars (out of 4)

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John Abraham’s Inspector Yash returns for Force 2, a more straightforward action flick than its romance-heavy predecessor. Intriguing international locations and a solid cast make this a fitting follow-up to 2011’s terrific thriller.

Five years after the murder of his wife Maya (Genelia D’Souza), Yash is drawn into another conspiracy. Someone is assassinating agents of RAW (India’s CIA, essentially) working in China, using information from within the organization to locate targets.

One of those agents is a childhood friend of Yash’s who managed to send an encoded message to his buddy before his death. The leak within RAW works at the Indian embassy in Budapest. The call to action jars Yash out of his vivid hallucinations of Maya and back into reality.

RAW isn’t about to let Yash tear apart Hungary on his own personal revenge mission. He’s assigned to work under the supervision of agent KK (Sonakshi Sinha), who has contacts in Budapest.

There’s some back-and-forth about the superiority of investigation methods preferred by each law enforcement branch — patient data collection by RAW versus gut feelings by the police — but this ends quickly. KK showcases her reliable instincts and Yash his observation skills, even if some of his investigation methods are unorthodox. KK describes her hair-triggered partner as “a bit wayward.”

Maya’s presence in the story — if only in Yash’s mind — precludes a romance between Yash and KK, allowing their relationship to develop based on professional camaraderie and trust. Abraham and Sinha have a nice rapport, and it’s satisfying to watch their characters learn that they are more effective working together than independently.

For as important a character as KK is, it would’ve been nice to see more of her backstory. At one point, I thought a subtitle read that the film’s villain was her fiance. It’s never mentioned again, so maybe I misread it. Subtitle pacing is a periodic problem, and some crucial voiceovers aren’t subtitled at all.

Sinha acquits herself well in the action sequences, and her character’s casual wardrobe in the second half of the film is killer. Abraham looks great at all times (one of the perks of his being a producer on Force 2).

Undoubtedly, the most compelling performance is by Tahir Raj Bhasin, who plays the villain Shiv Sharma. Bhasin has a threatening stare that he uses liberally, whether Shiv intends to convey his murderous intent overtly or disguise it behind a benign expression. There’s always something chilling about him.

Director Abhinay Deo of Delhi Belly fame has fun with the action scenes. He has Yash swing KK around as a weapon in one close-quarters fight. During a ballroom shoot-out, Deo films the events from Yash’s perspective as if it were a first-person-shooter video game. It’s really well-executed.

Though not as uniquely memorable as Force, Force 2 is still fun, violent action fare. I’d be happy to watch a third Force film.

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Movie Review: Force (2011)

force3.5 Stars (out of 4)

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Force is a damned fun movie, successfully integrating Bollywood’s signature “everything under the sun” approach to storytelling into an exciting action film.

Force opens with a man we later learn is named Yash (John Abraham) being thrown out of a window and over a cliff’s edge. He scales the cliff, only to collapse — body riddled with bullets — at the top. Taken by his friends to a hospital, his consciousness wavers as a surgeon begins to operate. Yash remembers… a montage?

Specifically, it’s a song montage featuring a beautiful woman named Maya (Genelia D’Souza). The song’s lyrics list the qualities any Bollywood heroine must possess: “The looks and complexion, the gait and attitude.” Maya certainly fits the bill.

The flashback takes us through Yash’s unconventional meet-cute with Maya, scaring her as he beats up drug dealers by throwing a motorcycle at them. Maya assumes — as do we — that tattooed, beefed-up Yash is a thug himself. A series of misunderstandings reveal Yash to be an undercover narcotics officer.

Acting on tips from an informant, Yash assembles a team of officers to help him obliterate the local drug trade: the veteran, Atul (Mohnish Bahl); the rookie, Mahesh (Ameet Gaur); and the loose cannon, Kamlesh (Kamlesh Sawant).

Meanwhile, Yash struggles with his desire to let Maya into his life. Atul’s wife, Swati (Sandhya Mridul), chides him for using Maya’s safety as an excuse to push her away. Swati explains that the wives of police officers know what they are getting into, and that it’s okay for Yash to allow himself to love. Cue the requisite romantic song number featuring Maya in a formal gown atop a sand dune!

However, Yash and his crew don’t realize that their successful operation opened the door for a new gang to take the drug trade in a more violent direction. Aided by his brother, Anna (Mukesh Rishi, best known as Bulla from Gunda), the sadist Vishnu (Vidyut Jammwal) returns from faking his death abroad to make the lives of Yash and his crew into a living hell.

Jammwal’s martial arts background makes him such an asset in action films. His skills enable impressive fight scenes that don’t rely upon wires and stunt doubles. Note how much longer the camera lingers on Jammwal during action sequences as compared to the quick cuts when Abraham fights.

Director Nishikant Kamat does some smart work in Force — aided by cinematographer Ayananka Bose and editor Aarif Sheikh — especially when it comes to storytelling efficiency. For example, when Yash and his crew concoct their plan to take out the gangs, the dialogue is delivered as though it is part of one continuous conversation, yet the camera cuts between the various groups of people involved at different points in the plan’s development. The first shot shows Yash receiving partial instructions from his boss; the second features Yash conveying the next set of instructions to his crew; then back to the boss, and so on. The audience knows that everyone involved is up to speed, without having to hear the same instructions twice.

Most impressive of all is a haunting song sequence that juxtaposes a funeral with violent action. As a mournful hymn builds to a crescendo, the camera cuts between mourners crying next to a pyre and Yash’s crew taking bloody revenge. It’s absolutely riveting, one of my favorite Hindi film song sequences of all time.

Force balances its darker elements with lighter ones, too. D’Souza is bubbly in the very best sense of the word, and her character gives Yash plenty of reasons to smile, bringing out Abraham’s softer side as a result. Swati, Atul, and the other members of the crew are sympathetic and well-developed, fleshing out the world in which Yash lives.

And then there’s that fight scene where Yash’s and Vishnu’s shirts simultaneously rip off for no good reason. Who wouldn’t be charmed by that?

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Movie Review: Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya (2012)

3 Stars (out of 4)

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Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya (“I’m in Love with You”) is a funny romantic comedy with quality performances. It took careful planning by director Mandeep Kumar and writer Abhijeet Sandhu to make a movie that seems so effortlessly enjoyable.

Take the efficient and effective opening scene, a song featuring the male lead, Viren (Ritesh Deshmukh). As “Jeene De” plays, Viren smiles and sings along as he goes through his day: rising early to drive his auto-rickshaw, playing with the kids he picks up from school, gratefully stashing his days’ earnings underneath the rickshaw’s seat.

In the span of a few minutes — and while the necessary opening credits roll — the audience learns that Viren is a good guy. He’s happy, polite, thrifty, a hard worker, and he can dance. By the end of the song, we know who the main character is, and we like him.

Viren loses his life savings when Bhatti (Tinnu Anand), the man from whom Viren leases his rickshaw, sells the fleet and upgrades to cars. In an uncharacteristic drunken stupor, Viren crashes the engagement party for Bhatti’s daughter, Mini (Genelia D’Souza).

Mini doesn’t want to marry the rich oaf her father has chosen for her, so she tricks Viren into kidnapping her. He reluctantly agrees to participate when Mini promises to get his money back from her father in the form of ransom. But Viren is so inept at pretending to be a criminal that Mini has to make the ransom demand herself.

Mini’s dynamic personality is irresistible. D’Souza imbues the character with charm, as Mini gets her way without being bossy. Mini takes charge of the phony kidnapping plan to make up for the fact that she has no say in the biggest decision of her life: who she’s going to marry.

Viren isn’t cowed by Mini so much as he is out of his depth. He’s a principled guy who has deliberately chosen to avoid any activities remotely criminal. Since he doesn’t know what he’s doing — and faces prison if he’s caught — he lets Mini run the show. The characters have a nice rapport, undoubtedly helped by the fact that Deshmukh and D’Souza are married in real life.

The fun continues into the second half of the film, as Viren and Mini grow closer and we meet Viren’s family. The story is well-balanced, and dance numbers are spaced appropriately. A wedding number in which Viren and Mini get drunk is a highlight thanks to D’Souza’s overly enthusiastic dancing.

The scenery is gorgeous throughout, whether the action takes place in the fields or in the mountains. Costumes are likewise vibrant and beautiful.

Overall, Tere Naal Ho Love Gaya is a really well-made film and a great example of its genre.

Links

  • Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya at Wikipedia
  • Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya at IMDb

Opening February 24: Jodi Breakers and Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya

Valentine’s Day has turned into a month-long event as Bollywood releases two more romantic comedies the weekend beginning Friday, February 24, 2012. Jodi Breakers stars R. Madhavan and Bipasha Basu as a pair of professional breakup artists.

Jodi Breakers opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 10 min.

Also opening on Friday at all of the above theaters is Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya (TNLHG), which has a runtime of 2 hrs. 10 min. TNLHG stars Genelia D’Souza and Ritesh Deshmukh respectively as a rich girl who forces one of her father’s underlings to kidnap her in order to escape her arranged marriage. Click here for a national theater list.

Having earned $1,026,303 in its first two weeks in U.S. theaters, the romantic comedy Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu gets a third week at the South Barrington 30. The romantic drama Ekk Deewana Tha leaves Chicago area theaters after just one week.

Other Indian films playing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Padmashree Bharath Dr. Saroj Kumar (Malayalam) and the Telugu movies Ishq, Love Failure, My Heart Is Beating, and Poola Rangadu.

Opening September 29: Force and Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster

Two new Hindi movies open in the Chicago area the weekend beginning Friday, September 29, 2011. The wider release of the two is the cop drama Force, starring John Abraham and Genelia D’Souza.

Force opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. Click here for a complete list of U.S. theaters showing the movie, which has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 17 min.

Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster is the other new Hindi film opening in the Chicago area this weekend, making its debut at the Golf Glen 5.

Last weekend’s new release, Mausam, carries over at all three of the above theaters. The South Barrington 30 also continues to devote screenspace to Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and Bodyguard.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Dookudu (Telugu), Muran (Tamil) and Pranayam (Malayalam).

Movie Review: Chance Pe Dance (2010)

3 Stars (out of 4)

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It’s hard for a movie to express that feeling of the first spark of romantic interest. I’m not talking about the eventual drama and passion, but that first giddy conversation in which you realize, “He/she is cute and nice and funny, and I sure hope that he/she feels the same way about me.” Chance Pe Dance nails that feeling.

Shahid Kapoor plays Sameer, a wannabe actor who moved from Delhi to Mumbai to pursue his dream. His biggest claim to fame after three years is an embarrassing commercial role as “The Sarong Sultan.” He auditions for roles he never gets and supports himself by working as a courier. He lives in a shabby apartment where he uses an iron to toast bread and stores his clothes in a broken refrigerator.

Things start looking up for Sameer when he meets a pretty choreographer named Tina (Genelia D’Souza) on an audition. He makes an ass of himself at first, but they part ways with some flirtatious teasing. That night, Shahid impresses a director at a dance club and lands a starring role in the director’s next movie, which will feature Tina’s choreography.

The good times quickly end when Sameer loses his courier job and is kicked out of his apartment. Because he won’t get any money from the movie role until the film starts rehearsals, Sameer takes a job teaching dance to a bunch of misfit elementary school students. He lives out of his compact car and washes up in the boys’ lavatory before school starts.

The interlude with the students is so brief that it hardly needs to be in the film. But the kids are cute and serve to keep Sameer from dwelling upon his misfortunes.

Dance Pe Chance gets a little sappy in its second half. One of Sameer’s auditions turns in to a corny speech about self-belief, and his reconciliation with his disapproving father feels forced. The movie’s brief (by Bollywood standards) runtime of just over two hours doesn’t allow some of the sideplots to develop as fully as I would have liked.

Also, for a movie with “Dance” in the title, the choreography is forgettable. It employs a slow style of hip-hop that emphasizes isolation moves, giving the routines a stop-start feeling. Most of the numbers feature Sameer dancing solo, without Tina. The climactic routine is edited to showcase more of Kapoor’s greased-up torso than his dance moves.

Those complaints aside, the movie excels at portraying Sameer and Tina as a likable, believable couple. Their relationship is based on mutual respect, not the usual plot-driven bickering that often precedes romance in movies. Tina encourages Sameer, and he does his best to live up to her belief in him. They bring out the best in each other, reminding us of the type of romantic partner we all strive to be on our best days.

Opening January 15: Chance Pe Dance

One new Hindi film opens in the Chicago area on Friday, January 15, 2010. Chance Pe Dance features Shahid Kapoor as a struggling entertainer who makes ends meet as a dance teacher. Genelia D’Souza plays his love interest. Based on the trailer, Chance Pe Dance‘s costume budget must not have included money for shirts for Shahid:

Chance Pe Dance opens at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville. (The AMC theaters list the movie as “The Chance Pe Dance“). It has an official runtime of 2 hrs. 1 min.

The comedy 3 Idiots is still going strong, having earned $5,602,911 in U.S. theaters so far. It continues into its fourth week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, Cantera 30 and AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago.

Last week’s new releases, Pyaar Impossible and Dulha Mil Gaya, won’t get a second week in theaters.

Other Indian films playing in the Chicago area this weekend include Namo Venkatesa (Telugu) at Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove and Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5, which is also showing Aayirathil Oruvan (Tamil), Adurs (Telugu), Chattambi Nadu (Malayalam) and Sambo Siva Shambo (Telugu).