FILM REVIEW – Sachin chatte

Songs Son Blues

Film: Rukh, Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Adarsh Gaurav, Smita Tambe, Directed by: Atanu Mukherjee, Duration: 1 hr 45 mins, Rating: * * *

Directed by debutante Atan Mukherjee, Rukh is one of those films where the story telling keep rather than the story keeps you engaged and due credit goes to the director for that. Poised as a thriller of sorts, the pay-off is not as captivating as the journey itself.

The proceedings starts off on an intriguing note, Manoj Bajpayee plays Divakar, a family man who gets killed in an accident. His son Dhruv (Adarsh Gaurav) who seems to be having anger management issues returns from boarding school to complete the rituals and formalities. Soon, he discovers that there possibly could be more than meets the eye as far as his father’s death is concerned.  He starts digging into the financials and discovers that his businessman father was bankrupt and fighting cases to clear his name.

Dhruv is an interesting character – he gets obsessed with the death of his father and his social skills are such that you don’t want to invite him for a cup of tea at home. But as the story progresses, you learn more about him and where all that angst comes from. It also becomes a coming of age story as he comes closer to the truth.

Apart from the characters, the setting and the middle class background lends credibility to the proceedings.

The space maybe slow and steady but it keeps you invested in how the story unravels – the climax though does not manage to get out of the hole that it finds itself in.

The cast is in fine fettle – Manoj Bajpayee and Smita Tambe as the parents, fit the bill.  Adarsh Gaurav as the troubled young man puts up an impressive act. All in all, the Rukh of this film is different and that’s a welcome change.

The Game is Afoot

Film: Faster Fene (Marathi with English subtitles), Cast: Amey Wagh, Girish Kulkarni, Dilip Prabhavalkar, Parna Pethe, Directed by: Aditya Sarpotdar, Duration: 2 hrs 10 mins, Rating: * * *

Faster Fene (FaFe) aka Banesh is to Maharashtra what Byomkesh is to Bengal and Sherlock Holmes is to the whole world. Fene though is much younger than the two illustrious detectives and a little older than the group of Famous Five. The character was created by Bhaskar Ramchandra Bhagwat around five decades ago and this film is a very decent effort to bring him to life although at 130 minutes, it s a bit stretched.

The writers have taken a slightly different approach in the sense that, this is a new story set in present day. Banesh (Amey Wagh of Muramba fame), is appearing for his medical entrance exams when he befriends a fellow examinee.  He learns about the suicide of this new friend and then becomes a man on a mission as he suspects it is murder. The villain is Appa (Girirsh Kulkarni) who is the kingpin of a massive scam – we already know who he is and what he stands for so there isn’t much of a pay off in terms of FaFe’s investigation and that is where the film stretches a bit as it gets into the subplots. The young sleuth gets some help from his journo friend Aboli (Parna Pethe) and encouragement from Bhagwat ( Dilip Prabhvalkar) who is a writer himself.

To its credit, the film does not indulge those routine and unnecessary songs but yet a little bit of trimming would have come in handy.  It also helps that there are some fine actors on the scene here – Amey Wagh plays the lead role with immense zest, the scene where he confronts Anna with fiery eyes shows that he means business. Girish Kulkarni is a terrific actor in any role and this one gives him scope to showcase his talent.

Such a Calamity

Film: Geostrom, Cast: Gerald Butler, Jim Sturgess, Directed by: Dean Devlin, Duration: 1 hr 49 mins, Rating: * 1 / 2

“No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough” said the famed critic Roger Ebert.  At 1 hour 49 mins, Geostrom, the latest space adventure, science fiction story is about 109 minutes too long. Effectively, this disaster epic turns out to be an epic disaster.

It is no coincidence that Geostorm is written and directed by Dean Devlin, the gentleman who also wrote Independence Day and Stargate – those films worked during that time but the same formula cannot be dished out in this day and age. Above anything else, Geostrom is Lame film with a capital L.

Set in 2019, we are told that the world has come together to build a bunch of satellites that can pretty much control the weather – the man who pretty much built it on his own, is Jake (Gerald Butler) who is pulled out of hibernation by his younger brother (Jim Sturgess). In fact, the program was called Dutch Boy and elder bro was fired and replaced by the other younger one giving sibling rivalry a new name. But then, hey, when they eventually save the world, they have kiss and make up not in the literal sense of course. More on the family angle, Jake’s daughter lives with his estranged wife which means that when disaster strikes (not when the film starts) he will be most worried about his little girl’s safety.

The satellites start acting up and destroy a village in Afghanistan and then unleash mayhem on the streets of Hong Kong. The latter sequence is done in manner befitting of a video game. Good old Andy Garcia plays the President of America and Ed Harris the secretary of state – both fine actors but can do zilch with such roles. Jake zips into space and remembers all the details of the space station as he were Schrödinger’s talking about Schrödinger’s cat.

Since this is a film about weather and disaster, we get to see cities struck by tornadoes, Mumbai in this case. People die, a dog survives and we are supposed to feel good about that. Elsewhere, there are floods and other calamities. But none of it is as threatening as this film itself.