As “Baaghi” opens, Tiger Schroff as Ronnie is balancing his whole body weight by his index finger and thumb – an incredible feat. In flashback we learn that Ronnie is an arrogant and rebellious young man. His worried father sends him to a former army buddy who is now Grandmaster Shifuji Shaurya Bharadwaj at an academy in Kerala teaching the ancient martial art form of Kalaripayattu. Kalari involves the discipline of kicking, spinning, punching and chopping for self-defense. Tiger excels here – no body doubles – and his moves are flawless. He is the Bollywood action star of the future. » Read more..
Archive for Action
Children kidnapped for the world’s sex trade; the subject matter of ‘Mardaani’ is an important one. India is the hub of child sex trafficking with nearly 40,000 kids abducted every year; 11,000 of who are never found. Meet Rani Mukerji as Shivani Shivaji Roy, Senior Inspector, Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police Department. Shivani is devoted to her doctor husband, her niece Meera, and Pyari, a street girl whom she rescued and now pays for her education. Shivani is a female version of Ajay Devgan’s Singham; a righteous, incorruptible, and tough policeman. Rani Mukerji creates a policewoman that is equally powerful, but ‘Mardaani‘ has a deadly serious tone. » Read more..
‘Airlift’ is a fictionalized account of an actual event, the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in 1990. The film focuses on the evacuation of 110,000 Indians who worked there and are stranded when Hussein’s army invade. Caught in the middle of a desperate situation, the Indians were not targeted by the Iraqis who only want to kill Kuwaitis. Adding to the problem, Kuwait’s royal family flees as soon as the fighting starts, leaving behind chaos and no one in charge of the government.
Director/Screenwriter S.S. Rajamouli‘s epic tale begins as a villager rescues a tiny baby from the raging waters of a spectacular waterfall. The boy is raised by a surrogate mother and is given the name Shiva. Throughout his childhood and adolescence, Shiva (Telugu actor Prabhas) yearns to know what lies atop the waterfall but all his attempts to climb it fail. One day, a devoted Shiva, desiring to make his mother happy, lifts a two-ton Shiva Linga (a stone idol) from its foundation and places it in the showers of the fall, a feat which brings proud blessings to his amazed mother and the villagers. Soon afterward, a wooden mask tumbles down from the top of the falls and lands at Shiva’s feet. Pulled by the call of destiny, Shiva tries the climb again. This time Shiva discovers a beautiful spirit who playfully encourages him all the way to the top of the mountain. » Read more..
College professor Aditya (Akshay Kumar) becomes directly affected by corruption when he loses his pregnant wife (Kareena Kapoor in a cameo) in a building collapse. He starts to secretly raise a team of his students who will infiltrate various departments in government when they leave school. Aditya’s main target is the developer whose shoddy work caused his wife’s death. He then takes on the whole system with a plan to kidnap ten officials from each government department, decide which man is the most corrupt and hang him publicly from whatever is available (a crane, a statue), attaching a file of his offenses to the body. Everybody has a CD from “Gabbar” notifying one and all that he intends to rid India of corruption.
I had mixed feelings about “Gabbar is Back“. It was hard for me to get passed the fact that the “good” guy was executing people without judge or jury, and encouraging his young followers to do the same. Everything was black and white here, no shades of gray. The “bad” guys were just outlines. They should have been filled in with more detail to help us feel good when they are eliminated. Lots of stereotypes of police and government officials. The background music was relentlessly ever present. » Read more..
“Baby” is a fast-paced and entertaining thriller from the director of ‘A Wednesday’ and ‘Special 26’, Neeraj Pandey. It contains loads of action, suspense, foreign locations, humor, but no item numbers or love stories.
An experimental covert operation run by the Indian government to root out terrorism wherever it is found is named Baby because it’s the first of its’ kind. Initially, twelve members were recruited from police and special forces. If caught, the government will deny any knowledge of them. The operation will run for five years to see if it proves valuable. The unit is in its’ final year with only a few members left. Feroz Khan (Danny Denzongpa), head of Baby, is liaison and advocate for the team with senior ministers. » Read more..
‘Bang Bang’ is a fast-paced rom-com, starring Hrithik Roshan as a man of mystery, and Katrina Kaif, as a simple bank receptionist. The storyline: Craving a change in her dull life, Harleen mistakes handsome Rajveer for her blind date set up by Trulove.com. Rajveer takes advantage of this by charming her, while he slips a priceless diamond that he has stolen from the Tower of London into her purse. Rajveer then asks Harleen if she dances and when she says “only in the mirror”, he proceeds to dazzle her with a Hrithik Roshan style dance. Naïve Harleen is totally infatuated. » Read more..
‘Happy New Year’ is about six losers who cheat their way into the World Dance Championship as Team India. The championship provides cover to pull off a diamond heist during the contest’s finale. Director Farah Khan and actor Shah Rukh Khan set out to make a movie that represents all the things we love about Bollywood in one epic movie.
First the tried and true storyline. Charlie (Shah Rukh Khan) has spent 8 years planning to revenge his father who died in jail falsely accused by villain Charan Gover (Jackie Shroff). Our hero Shah Rukh, plays an English-speaking Boston University topper, whose toned body, agile moves and charm have been delighting audiences for over twenty years now. Our heroine, Deepika Padukone as Mohini, a gorgeous bar dancer equally toned, graceful and sweet. She is brought » Read more..
‘Kick’ is truly the Salman Khan show from beginning to end, with a cast of good supporting characters, and a fairly interesting storyline. Is he acting or just being himself – probably a little of both. Sajid Nadiadwala makes his directing debut with this movie.
Shaina (Jacqueline Fernandez), a beautiful psychologist living in Warsaw, agrees to an meeting with Himanshu (Randeep Hooda), a top cop from India, for the purpose of an arranged marriage. They share their pasts as a way of getting to know each other. Shaina confesses she is still haunted by feelings for ex-boyfriend Devi Lal. Devi (Salman) is an underachiever with a brilliant, creative mind. Easily bored, Devi has gone through 32 jobs since college. He’s addicted to the high that comes from mixing things up, being reckless, and getting a kick from the reactions around him. When Shaina tries to change him, Devi impulsively breaks their romance off. Himanshu, it turns out, is haunted and taunted by a master criminal who is nicknamed Devil.
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Salman owns Churbul, SRK owns Don, and Ajay Devgan owns Bajirao Singham, the righteous cop who dispenses compassion and justice as he sees fit. This time, Director Rohit Shetty‘s macho cop Singham is on the Mumbai police force where he has already won the respect of his men. Singham is protecting Guruji (Anupum Kher), his former teacher, who has formed a slate of young, honest political candidates for upcoming elections. Guruji’s nemesis is Baba (Amole Gupta), a phony religious leader, who has become rich and powerful at the expense of his followers. Baba is influencing the elections by intimidation and by buying votes. The plot thickens when one of Singham’s officers turns up dead in a van full of black money. Shetty weaves a number of social ills into his story: poverty, political corruption, laundered money, treatment of women, and the limitation of the “system” to bring about true justice. » Read more..
R…Rajkumar, a mysterious stranger, arrives in town against the backdrop of two war ing drug lords fighting over the opium crop. As he watches them tear the marketplace apart, Rajkumar sees a damsel in distress about to be seriously hurt by a bullet. He pushes her out of harm’s way and is instantly smitten by her beauty. Rajkumar becomes obsessed with ‘Lollipop’, as he calls her. Shahid Kapoor, as Rajkumar, plays a young man working for way up in the world of crime, when love strikes. Every time he sees Chanda, aka ‘Lollipop’, he becomes awestruck and speechless in her presence. He finally resorts to stalking her and teasing her mercilessly. He recues an old man from a burning house, just to impress her. Chanda is a feisty, strong-willed young woman, and she isn’t about to take any nonsense from Raj. Chanda, played by Sonakshi Sinhi, speaks her mind. Unfortunately, she is about to run up against the rules of the patriarchal society she lives in. » Read more..
Shah Rukh Khan is Rahul, an unmarried businessman in his forties. Raised by his doting grandparents, he runs a chain of successful candy shops in Mumbai. Rahul is a little arrogant, self-centered, and sheltered. When Grandpa dies one day before his 100th birthday, Rahul feels the need to break free from his routine and change his life. He wants to go to Goa to party, but Grandma wants Rahul to fulfill Grandpa’s last wish and spread his ashes in Rameshwaran, a holy city at the southern tip of India. When Grandma insists on seeing him off, Rahul decides to deceive her by getting on the Chennai Express and getting off at the very next stop, but fate has other plans for Rahul. » Read more..
Officer Rakesh Kadam commits suicide after he is framed for being a corrupt cop by Jaikant Shikre. As his widow confronts Kadam’s tormentor, she points to heaven and says “Now He (God) will do justice.” Suddenly, the sun rises over a purification ceremony at a distant temple; a devout Singham rises from the water. As the theme song plays, he struts around in slow-mo, uniform perfectly pressed, pushing an ox cart out of the ditch here, helping an injured child win a race there, and giving kids rides on his motorcycle. He is adored by the people of his village, where he is revered as a benevolent father figure and protector. » Read more..
Dabangg is a good guys vs. bad guys movie with a twist. The “good” guy, mucho policeman Chulbul Pandey, is a self-styled Robinhood. He foils the bad guys but keeps the money for himself or gives it to the less fortunate. Pandey (Hindi superstar Salman Khan), lives with his asmatic mother, step-father and step-brother in a village in Uttar Pradesh. He resents the way his step-father favors brother Makkhi (Arbaaz Khan). Makkhi is lazy and dishonest. When he decides to steal Pandey’s money to get married, » Read more..