Category Archives: Movie Review

Here’s How to Watch ‘Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai’ at Home

Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai’ will be the first big-scale entertainment film of Bollywood that will have a multi-format release on May 13.

Actor Salman Khan’s Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai is slated for a theatrical release worldwide on Thursday (May 13), adhering to the Covid-19 protocol issued by the government. However, the tent-pole film is opening at a time when India is going through an extreme crisis and most producers have pushed back their releases.

Salman’s fans are much excited about the movie which was due to release on Eid last year but was pushed owing to the pandemic and cinema closures. Finally, this year the movie is getting released but fans are worried about how to watch it since most cinemas across the country are non-functional owing to the pandemic. In cities where there is no lockdown, many still want to stay home during this testing time.

But fret not! Looks like one of the most loved actors also thinks about the health and safety of his fans and so he has planned the release of the film on digital platforms too.

Those interested in the movie can watch it on ZEE5 with ZEE’s pay-per-view service, ZEEPlex. Those using DTH platforms like Dish, D2H, Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TVcan also avail the service of ZeePlex at a price of Rs 249. Using ZeePlex, a user can book and watch the first day of the show from the comfort of their homes.

Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai will be the first big-scale entertainment film from the country that will have a multi-format release. In a recent interaction, Salman too said he would not encourage theatre owners to screen his upcoming film as he does not want people to say that they got infected with the virus when they went to watch the movie. He added that he is even incurring losses because of the nearly non-existent theatrical release of the film in India.

Jaaved Jaaferi’s Commentary in Lava Ka Dhaava Takes Us Back to Takeshi’s Castle Days

Jaaved Jaaferi’s new Netflix show Lava Ka Dhaava reminds us of his commentary days from the popular children’s show Takeshi’s Castle.

Seasoned Bollywood actor Jaaved Jaaferi has a special place in the hearts of the late millennial and early Gen Z kids of India. During the late 90s and early 2000s, Jaaved showed his cool dance movies in Boogie Woogie, was a part of fan-favourite kids films like Jajantaram Mamantaram and most importantly, won hearts with his commentary in the Japanese show Takashi’s Castle.

Takeshi’s Castle was an adventure-based game show where the participants would have to navigate difficult obstacle courses. Some of them included scaling high walls, others had to cross a pond through ‘skipping stones.’ The show was also made interesting by the presence of ‘royal guards’ or pranksters who would try to stop the participants from completing the round successfully. However, no matter how many people won these obstacle courses they would always lose in the ‘final showdown.

Takeshi’s Castle was an integral part of our childhood. It was a super interesting and unpredictable show. But for us Indians, what made the show so special was Jaaved Jaaferi’s commentary. The actor was relentless, using his sense of humour and voice modulations to make puns and jokes about every situation. There were also segments called ‘Jaaved’s Ridiculous Replay’ where we would see a contestant falling repeatedly, added with a quirky thing that the actor said. The show was a riot, thanks to the actor.

Hence, we were excited when we first learnt that the actor is hosting a similar game show. The show, which released on Wednesday, is called Lava Ka Dhaava. It is a Hindi dubbed version of the American show The Floor is Lava. It is also a high-pace obstacle course where the participants have to go from one corner of a room to the other without falling in make-believe lava.

The concept of the show comes from the popular game and meme of the same name. In viral internet videos, a person could be heard saying, “the floor is lava,” and their friends would scarmble to find any furniture they can climb on.

This show takes it to another level. While the lava is make-believe, it is still hot and intimidating. The contestants, who play in teams of three, have to jump across rotating furnitures, slippery rocks and even insect infested walls to go to the other corner. It is also time-bound, after five to six minutes, the stairs that help you get out of the lava room start dissappearing, making the exit next to impossible.

The show is interesting to watch. It is basically like watching any other American game show like wipe-out. However, we cannot deny that Jaaved’s involvement in the show makes it a lot funnier. Of course, there are some jarring moments, like how the audience is supposed to pretend that the actor is actually communicating with the contestants, or the times where it seems like he is reading out of a script to synch it with what the contestants are saying. The language spoken is also too literal instead of colloquial to separate it from the original version. Hence, ‘Spider-Man’ becomes ‘Makdi Manav.’ It also gets a little repetitive after three episodes.

That being said, Laava Ka Dhaava is a fun show to watch. It is amusing to see people bring out their most competitive side only to slip and fall in fake lava. Since we are also living in trying times, a show like this is exactly the mindless and hilarious distraction we need.

Not to mention, this is the closest we will be to reliving our childhood days where the evenings would consist of us watching Takeshi’s Castle and MAD on Pogo. Jaaved Jaaferi is an amazing actor, who has done some amazing work across genres. However, Lava Ka Dhaava has reminded us of his sharp commentary skills and we hope he does more shows like this soon.

Raat Baaki Hai movie review: Annup Sonii, Paoli Dam’s ZEE5 film confuses vagueness for intrigue

Paoli Dam walking down a staircase of a palatial haveli in a perfectly draped sari, somewhere in Rajasthan (the film doesn’t bother with specifics), might make for an intriguing start to a whodunnit. Dam, who was the best thing about Anvita Dutt’s Bulbbul, uses her deceptive presence to a similar effect here in Avinash Das’s Raat Baaki Hai. However, the final impact is far from what one might expect. Or depending on your opinion of Zee5, barely surprising. Not for her own fault, Dam’s character, Vasuki, is infuriatingly simple. Having made a career out of playing the Tagore-ian character, who mopes and pines at the dressing table while looking like a million bucks, Dam’s eeriness is short-changed in the Zee5 film. Using her soft voice to cajole the leading man, Kartik (Annup Sonni, the numerology evidently not working for him) into dropping his guard, the film would have worked significantly better if it dug deep with Dam’s character. Instead, it takes the easy way out and plays out like a conventional murder mystery, where murders look awfully synthetic, and the mystery barely makes it past the first act.

A Bollywood star, Vaani Kapoor (Dipannita Sharma), also referred to as Vaani Chopra at one point, is found murdered in a hotel room. She had gotten engaged to her beau, Kartik, only a few hours earlier. Kartik we’re told, is a writer. Anyone familiar with the hierarchy in the film industry, understands the natural conflict here between an A-list actor and a lowly writer, a conflict that the makers don’t seem interested in. Rahul Dev is tasked with the role of a greasy investigator, who uses all his interrogation scenes to showcase his deadpan face. Dev’s Rajasthani-afflicted delivery isn’t consistent, but there are simple pleasures in hearing the expletives roll out of his tongue. Following up on the acts of the likes of a Jaideep Ahlawat and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Dev is understandably below par. His detective abilities are also questionable, considering how he fixates on a producer attending the engagement, instead of looking for Kartik, who seems to be fleeing from the scene.

The flashbacks in the film are lazily expository, only to colour the characters in shades of doubt. The final ‘reveal’ is incredibly facile too, something most viewers will see from a mile away. The vapid, leftover royalty of Rajasthan has been an interesting and recurring trope in recent films and the OTT space, especially in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Sahib, Biwi Aur Gangster franchise, and also in last year’s Aarya.

It’s no coincidence then, that Avinash Das’s film looks like a derivative version of Raat Akeli Hai, a film that also borrowed its title from a popular Hindi song, much like Avinash Das’s film. It’s an oft repeated pattern in recent films, like when the makers of Malang went out of their way to pay homage to ‘Aaj Ki Raat Koi Aane Ko Hai’  from 1982’s Anamika, via Anil Kapoor’s character. Directors probably think these add a bit of retro cool to the films. One fails to understand it is if they do go through the trouble to doff their hats to an era behind us, then why can’t they also write a story worthy of being a tribute to that era?

The only decent thing about Avinash Das’s Raat Baaki Hai, is its run-time at 89 minutes. At least, it ensures that we’re not wasting more than 89 minutes on such a basic ‘mystery’. The last half hour is particularly painful to endure, when the whodunnit suddenly morphs into ‘Here-is-why-I-did-it’. Characters go to great lengths to explain how they ‘chanced upon’ (not very subtly) the most bizarre clues, and what their motivations behind the murders REALLY are. The plot-points here are so contrived, that you can see smudges of the screenwriter’s ink, putting four and four together to make it 44.

Das started out promisingly as a filmmaker with Anarkali of Aarah, and after that, he’s been at the helm of Netflix’s She and this wreckage. Raat Baaki Hai is the kind of film where someone changes into black turtlenecks, black trousers and black boots before going out to murder someone. It’s the only moment when the film woke me up, and drew a laugh out of me. Alas! There aren’t even enough of those.