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  #46  
Old September 10th, 2015, 07:59 AM
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Re: Movie reviews of some off beat films that I saw recently

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Originally Posted by ashdoc View Post
Whenever i have revealed too much of the storyline of a film i have received criticism . When i had written the first proper review of a film ( kurbaan ) on this very forum in 2009 or 2010 , i was slammed for revealing too much .
Thats why i always read your reviews after i have seen the movie. It started with Kurbaan. Even if you dont reveal the ending, you still tell a lot of the main story. Still, though a bit long, your takes are interesting.
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Old September 10th, 2015, 08:01 AM
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Re: Movie reviews of some off beat films that I saw recently

And docji, in case you are able to, would like your review on 'Miller's crossing'. i saw this with a couple of Mallu leftwingers in Kolkatta 20 years back. they liked it and i could not make much out of it.
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  #48  
Old September 10th, 2015, 08:34 AM
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Re: Movie reviews of some off beat films that I saw recently

Citylights



This is truly a sordid tale as tales go , but it does offer a glimmer of hope in humanity as it shows to what extent a man can go for the sake of his home and his family and his hearth....

It is officially a copy of 'Metro Manila'---an english film .

Rajkumar Yadav ( the leading actor's real name , though he goes by the name of Rajkumar Rao nowadays ) and his wife are down in the dumps in the worst way possible---financially of course....
So they decide to try their luck to the only place where immigrants come from all over India for their pot of gold---Mumbai , what else...and they travel all the way from their native place in Rajasthan .

The naivety of these simple townsfolk from small places is exposed in Mumbai as they get fooled instantly---they are shown an apartment for rent , where they pay money without any papers being signed . Of course , the people who take money from them disappear and Rajkumar's wife is evicted from that apartment in heartless fashion by it's real owners....this scene is truly heartrending , and my father ( with whom I was watching the movie on TV ) walked out from the living room because he could not bear to see the movie any more....

They are helped by a bar girl , who finds them temporary accomodation . But the couple's future seems to be bleak . And desperation because of shortage of money can lead a person down any path....Rajkumar's wife finds a job as a dance bar girl using the contacts of the bar girl who helped them , or rather she is lured by the bar girl into that path....

The scene in which she meets the bar owner for the first time is another cringeworthy scene---a woman like her who comes from a respectable family is forced to show her body parts for visual examination by the bar owner ; the size of her belly and breasts and buttocks are visually eyed by the bar owner who leeringly approves and then forces her to dance in front of him on a bollywood number . She has to dance in front of drunk men who touch her inappropriately when showering her with cash .

Finally Rajkumar lands a job as a security guard who guards boxes of cash being transported for the rich in vans . He is helped by another guard who teaches him the intricacies of the job . The man also gives him an apartment to live . But obviously there is nothing like a free lunch , and the man has ulterior motives in helping Rajkumar Yadav . In fact , Rajkumar is going to be caught in a web which will ultimately lead to his doom....

So what web is Rajkumar going to be caught in ??
What are the motives of the security guard in helping Rajkumar ??
More importantly , will the couple and their daughter who is accompanying them survive in the big bad world of the big city ??

Watch the movie for the answers....

This is one bleak movie , and I fully understand why my father walked out....

Of course , acting by everybody is good . But the proceedings feel as if they are constantly moving towards impending tragedy....
Does not put you in a good mood , this movie....

Some of the scenes are meant to make you cringe , like the scene where the hero is taken by his security guard friends to a dance bar and he realizes that his wife must be dancing in a bar like this in another part of the city---and he begins to imagine her that way among leering drunkards and goes home frustrated and tries to taunt her about that , only to be slapped by her....

Ultimately the hero manages to triumph in the end , and it is the surprising climax that makes the movie a good movie . But the triumph comes at a terrible price for himself....

This movie has some art house movie features , but I found it hard to say whether it is an art film or commercial ; more art house I think...
But the second half of the movie is more like a thriller and the climax is actionpacked , something that would not disappoint commercial cinema lovers .

Rajkumar Yadav is good as usual , and I am now looking forward to see his films in future . He spoke hindi in rajasthani accent all too well , as if he was a rajasthani .

In the end you walk out with memories of how a good but desperate man went to astonishing lengths to secure a future for his family/children and succeeded....but I didn't have to walk out , for I was in my own home watching the film in HD on big screen TV---The experience of watching was as good as watching in theater....

Verdict---sordid but good .
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  #49  
Old September 10th, 2015, 11:30 AM
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Re: Movie reviews of some off beat films that I saw recently

Rang Rasiya



Rang rasiya---the two words certainly describe the personality of Raja Ravi Verma ( played by Randeep Hooda in this film ) , the celebrated painter who is justly celebrated for making God accessible to the common man in the 19th century . For Ravi Verma's life was full of colour and passion.....on one hand he was a ladies man , a man who openly had relationships with numerous women in his youth....and on the other hand he was a master artist ; a painter who spent a lifetime painting vignettes from religion and tradition , thus making it easily reachable to the people....

He was born in what would become the state of Kerala in independent India , in a place which at that time was part of the kingdom of Travancore in British India.

Artists have always thrived in the court of Kings , and Ravi was fortunate that the king of Travancore was a great patron of the arts . It was the large hearted king who gave Ravi the title of 'Raja' , which means ruler---making him effectively a potential successor to the throne . And it was under the king's tutelage that Raja Ravi Verma's artistic talents first thrived....

But he was unlucky in the fact that his wife was a woman who totally hated the arts , and he gradually grew estranged from her . Instead he became a rang rasiya---a man who cavorted with lower caste women and had intimate relations with them . Being free from the prejudices about exposing flesh that upper caste women had , these women would pose in daring exposing poses for Ravi's paintings and thus allow him free expression of the arts .

And this experience would be the defining one for Raja Ravi Verma---he would spend a lifetime trying to make religion and God reachable to the common man , as opposed to the elite who had exclusive rights to the Gods till then....

But naturally , reaction from the reactionary elite keepers of tradition would follow suit---much of the film deals with the lawsuit filed against Ravi Verma for daring to paint the Gods who had previously been unpainted , and painting the females among them in such dare bare fashion....

The other main theme of the film is his relation with his muse---a kept woman of a rich old man , named Sugandha ( played by Nandana Sen ) . This time a fallen woman would be his obsession , and it she who poses nude for him in paintings meant exclusively for his private artistic pleasure , thus giving us the nude scenes of the film---something that some members of the audience had shamelessly come for watching , for they got out of the theater after these scenes....

But when hard times fall upon Verma , he is forced to give up these very nude paintings to the person who bails him financially out . And the person remorselessly sells copies of the nudes to lay people in the thousands....

The so called elite keepers of morality and tradition are aghast....
Sugandha is taunted by lecherous men on mean streets about her nude poses---she feels betrayed and is in dispair...
Raja Ravi Verma is summoned to the courtroom as a case of immorality and defamation of hindu culture is launched against him...
The Gods are supposed to be angry at this brazen portrayal of them in Verma's paintings , and a recent epidemic of plague is blamed on him....

So how does Verma deal with the allegations ?? Is he found guilty ??
Watch the film for the answers....

To be honest , I found the early scenes in the film ( of Verma cavorting with several women ) to be corny to say the least---looked liked he was indulging is debauchery to me....

But the director more than counterbalanced these scenes with scenes which brought a lump in the throat---

.....Scenes of a man who sees Verma's painting of Lord Ram for the first time and lies down prostate in prayer for he feels the Lord is actually in front of him....

......Scenes of low caste dalits who are never allowed inside temples visualizing God's image for the first time ever in their lives in Verma's paintings and becoming spellbound chanting his name---finally they got to see the God who they had been never allowed to get close to....this scene is my favourite from the film....

......Scenes of Verma defending his art and his life's work in a emotional speech in court---talking about India's rich tradition of nude art from the Sun temple of Konark to the magnificent sculptures of Khajuraho....

......And above all , the scene of a humiliated Sugandha still standing as bravely as she can before the judge and proclaiming that she posed for the nudes because it was only Verma who could find a goddess within a fallen woman like her and paint her as one....

Yes , it is in Sugandha that Verma finds the true love of his life---but because of her position in life , that love can't completed by marriage....
It is a love hate relationship---Sugandha getting jealous because of Verma getting attention from other women , and in the end blaming him for getting her publicly branded as a slut by not being able to stop publication of her nude paintings....
And it is a relationship that has to end in tragedy---this is art film and not a commercial film for everything to turn all right in the end....

Acting by the lead pair and supporting actors is good , and Nandana Sen looks just divine---like the goddess she poses as...

The people who came searching for titillation in the nude shots left empty handed , for the nude shots were filmed aesthetically and were not vulgar .

Verdict---Good .
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  #50  
Old September 10th, 2015, 11:45 AM
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Re: Movie reviews of some off beat films that I saw recently

I had watched Rang Rasiya mainly to know about the greatest Indian artist Raja Ravi Verma. Good movie, I enjoyed it.
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  #51  
Old September 11th, 2015, 02:06 PM
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Re: Movie reviews of some off beat films that I saw recently

Messenger of God



The baba ( religious leader ) of the 21st century !!

The baba who wears outlandishly fashionable clothes , sports reflective goggles over his eyes , goes cycling like an olympian followed by a camera on a mini helicopter....

The baba who dances in rhythm with psychedelic music in rock shows amid flashy multicoloured lighting and laser lights....

The baba who organizes rubaru nights where his followers dance the night away to the beats of modern music...

The baba who does not ask women to stay indoors but instead trains them in martial arts to face the dangers of outdoor life....

The baba who wants the law to recognize the rights of eunuchs and call them transgenders....

The baba who goes into brothels to liberate prostitutes and then marries them to young men in order to rehabilitate them....

The baba who sings like a rock star in concerts where his followers wear trendy clothes....

The only thing that was missing in the rock concert was the alcohol and the drugs....

...For the baba is against alcohol and drugs big time and exclusively forbids it.....

And he organizes programmes where his followers renounce these intoxicants totally....

And it is the renouncing of these intoxicants that angers the drug mafia , which decides to kill him....

And the drug mafia hires a foreign killer who attempts to assassinate the baba....

But the baba is a messenger of almighty god !! and he has divine powers that can thwart those attempts....

Sharp weapons turn into rose petals when confronted with the power of this baba , and poisonous gas evaporates away....

But the drug mafia has another ace up it's sleeve---it's a suicide bomber living in the baba's camp trained to explode and finish off the baba...and the identity of this bomber is unknown....

So who is this suicide bomber ?? Is it the stunningly beautiful and tall blue eyed blonde who has come to film the baba's miracles from a foreign land and has become so mesmerized by the baba that she has become not only an indispensable part of his entourage but also is being called by the baba as his daughter....all the while interrupting my precious sleep with dreams of her heart stopping beauty and luscious red lips and the softness of her smooth white skin and slim body....

And can the suicide bomber succeed in her mission ?? More importantly , does the baba care about that ?? Does a baba who claims to be nothing more than a fakir ( religious beggar ) bother about something as fickle as his own life on earth ?? Watch the movie for the answers....

The movie can be enjoyed only if you utterly suspend your sense of belief , for the baba uses his divine powers to to the most impossible things---like flying his motorcycle in the air , using magic to put electric current on doors to prevent goons from breaking them , fighting hundreds of armed men singlehandedly , and knowing the identity of the suicide bomber from the start !!

And the baba forgives all those try to harm him , not killing a single one of them but trying to win them with love....

So I suspended my own sense of belief and disbelief and saw the film---with happy results....

I discovered that once you suspend your own sense of belief you enter a zone close to nirvana....and you begin to enjoy the unbelievable things that occur in the film ; things that occur only in the realm of illusion and magic.---of the baba doing impossible stunts and unimaginable things....

But hadn't the ordinary Indian fan already discovered this nirvana long before I did....?
How else would I try to reconcile with fans liking Salman Khan's nonsensical antics in film after film and Rajanikanth's superfantastic stunts...?

If fans could like Rajanikanth throwing a knife at a bullet fired at him and splitting the bullet into two and make the film a hit , then why should not I like this film ??
If fans could digest a scene where a bullet fired at Mithun Chakravarty's brain takes away his brain tumour and cures him of it , then why should not I like this film ?? Just because in this case the hero is a baba and we are supposed to scoff at babas ??

At least in this case the baba was loudly and shamelessly proclaiming his love for India flying the national flag in hand , unlike the khans who are busy making films where they make Indian girls fall in love with pakistanis....

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insaan ( I hope I got the name right ) does make an impact with his bravura performance as heart and soul of the film , a performance which gets better and better with every passing frame....
The songs are foot tapping....
Sadly this is not matched by the editing of the film , which is rank sloppy .
Acting and performances by some of the cast are juvenile....
Some of the scenes are nonsensical....

But what caught my attention was the strong emphasis on the issue of rescue of prostitutes trapped in brothels and their remarriage to willing men in order to rehabilitate them ; it was ending the film on a strong emotional pitch---somewhere it tugged to my heart....

Of course , the film is without question made for clearcut self promotion . In that sense it can be called a long advertisement of the Dera Sacha Sauda cult rather than a real film .
But if I like what I saw , what can I do ??

Verdict---I enjoyed the film .
Three stars .
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Last edited by ashdoc; September 11th, 2015 at 02:08 PM.
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  #52  
Old September 11th, 2015, 02:11 PM
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Re: Movie reviews of some off beat films that I saw recently

for watching Messenger of God. Your patience and sense of duty is unparalleled.
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  #53  
Old September 11th, 2015, 03:41 PM
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Re: Movie reviews of some off beat films that I saw recently

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for watching Messenger of God. Your patience and sense of duty is unparalleled.
Yes. i actually read this review beforehand. Saves the rouble of watching the movie.

Docji, would love your take on another off beat movie 'Kaafila'

Some off beat movies i have seen recently

- Badle ki Aag
- insaniyat Ke Dushman
- Zalzala
- Gunahon ka Devta
In progress - Loha, Jeene nahi doonga.

Not so off beat movies include Vaastav and Ghulami
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  #54  
Old September 12th, 2015, 01:03 AM
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Re: Movie reviews of some off beat films that I saw recently

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Originally Posted by sgars View Post
Yes. i actually read this review beforehand. Saves the rouble of watching the movie.

Docji, would love your take on another off beat movie 'Kaafila'

Some off beat movies i have seen recently

- Badle ki Aag
- insaniyat Ke Dushman
- Zalzala
- Gunahon ka Devta
In progress - Loha, Jeene nahi doonga.

Not so off beat movies include Vaastav and Ghulami
Names like badle ki aag and insaniyat ke dushman and zalzala and loha sound mainstream not offbeat .
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Old September 12th, 2015, 06:32 AM
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Re: Movie reviews of some off beat films that I saw recently

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Names like badle ki aag and insaniyat ke dushman and zalzala and loha sound mainstream not offbeat .
They were mainstream in 80s. After the Rahul Tina deluge, they have become offbeat.
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Old September 12th, 2015, 06:34 AM
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Re: Movie reviews of some off beat films that I saw recently

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They were mainstream in 80s. After the Rahul Tina deluge, they have become offbeat.
and what is rahul tina deluge ??
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Old September 12th, 2015, 06:55 AM
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Re: Movie reviews of some off beat films that I saw recently

Whiplash



Whiplash is about the blood sweat toil and tears that go into the making of a creative genius---a great drummer of jazz music . And the movie shows the blood literally flowing in several scenes of the movie ; ditto for the sweat---the hero practices drumming till he is drenched in sweat...and the tears are an integral part of the film , for the hero breaks down like we all do when we try hard yet fail...

19 year old Andrew Nieman ( played by Miles Teller ) is different from others of his age ; while his peers boast about their academic success as evidenced by their school grades , he talks about his achievements in the art of playing drums....While others have more stable family backgrounds , his mother has abandoned him and his father in childhood---maybe that's what makes him different....
His passion for his art is such that he tells his girlfriend to break off with him because she is a distraction which will work to break his concentration and prevent him from reaching the top....

Nieman's father supports him all the way , and he gets enrolled in the Shaffer conservatory of music . And his skills get noticed by the head of the school band Terrence Fletcher ( played by J.K. Simmons ) . But Fletcher has unconventional ways of getting the best out of his students , and surviving his methods is as difficult as reaching the pinnacle of creativity....

.....For Fletcher has perfected the art of abusing and screaming and even throwing an object or two at his pupils to make them try harder . The moment he enters the room , electric tension grips the air....the students are dead silent with their eyes looking firmly downwards ; eye contact with the indomitable Fletcher is out of question .

It is difficult to decide who has acted better---the teacher or the pupil . Miles Teller really plays the drums like a fantastic drum player would do , especially towards the end....he is not just an actor chosen for his good looks , but capable of really playing the drums like a professional....
J K Simmons has formidable screen presence , and that is accentuated by the camera focusing on his face repeatedly . When he doesn't like something any of his pupils is doing ( which is quite often ) , his voice cracks like whip to lash the offending student till he is left in tears ; the movie really lives upto it's name....

So can Nieman reach the pinnacle of creative genius and become a renowned drummer ?? Can he survive in the tough competitive world where other drummers are kept ready by Fletcher to pounce upon his place in the band the moment he makes a mistake ?? Does he have the temperament to withstand the force of the personality of Fletcher ; a personality that other pupils have failed to cope up with , causing life shaking consequences ??
Watch the movie for the answers....

The movie does not follow the predictable path of the student gradually impressing the teacher , but rather has surprises in store for us as it moves forward with twists and turns that make it unpredictable . And I sat in rapt attention watching every scene unfold....
Music is good , as it should be for a movie whose storyline is based on music .

Verdict---Formidable .
4 stars .
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Last edited by ashdoc; September 12th, 2015 at 06:58 AM.
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Old September 12th, 2015, 08:31 AM
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Re: Movie reviews of some off beat films that I saw recently

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and what is rahul tina deluge ??
All the Mush Mush Shahrukh Khan and co movies with directors like K Jo, Aditya Chopra, etc.
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Old September 12th, 2015, 01:53 PM
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Re: Movie reviews of some off beat films that I saw recently

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Messenger of God

...

But what caught my attention was the strong emphasis on the issue of rescue of prostitutes trapped in brothels and their remarriage to willing men in order to rehabilitate them ; it was ending the film on a strong emotional pitch---somewhere it tugged to my heart....

Verdict---I enjoyed the film .
...
You have encouraged me into seeing this movie. Will give it a try when next I get some time to see a movie
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Old September 12th, 2015, 08:47 PM
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Re: Movie reviews of some off beat films that I saw recently

Jal



' Kutch nahi dekha to kuchh nahi dekha ' says the advertisement for Kutch tourism . But if you see this movie you might say ' Kutch mey kuchh nahi dekha ' especially from the tourism point of view. Because the movie shows Kutch as a godforsaken barren land without water where villagers are dying due to thirst . Why would a tourist in his right mind venture there....??

The ones who shown venturing there in the film are the photographers from magazines like National Geographic . And they are the ones who bring jobs for only a brief period to the otherwise empty life of the villagers .

And when a foreign female photographer walks in short clothes , the sex starved villagers openly stare lustfully at her dreaming of forcing sex on her and imagining her to be a porn star .

After seeing all this , do I even have to tell you that the film has been made for the western audiences . For it fulfills all the western stereotypes about India . Poverty struck Indians dying due to lack of water , sex mad Indians having rapist thoughts about skimpily clan western women , and the only ones capable of giving them jobs albeit for a brief period are the white people who have presumably descended from heaven....all the cliches are there....

Haven't we seen all this in ' City of joy ' ?? The film showing white christian nuns are the only hope and saviors of the poor people of the black hole of poverty that is Calcutta ??

Except that the foreigners in this film are not good samaritans themselves and pack their bags and leave once their job of photography is over leaving the villagers high and dry . And then the Indians go back to doing what they do best---fighting and killing each other over old and new enemities , raping women and dying due to thirst . So good for nothing , these Indians....

Of course , before leaving the foreigners have found a man for making it to the front page of their magazine . He is the man who has the miraculous powers to find out water in the salt desert---Bakka , played by Purab Kohli . He is able to find water for the flamingos whom the foreign photographers had come to film . And the lives of the flamingos are more important than the lives of those third rate human beings called Indians , for the Indian govt loans the foreigners it's water digging machine for a sum of money , something that it is loathe to do for it's citizens....

Too bad that the life of Bakka is not important too , for he is killed before he gets to see his photograph in the magazine . Killed in the midst of his attempts to get water for his village and because of his marriage to the daughter of the chieftain of the enemy village .

Ahh.....the daughter ( named Kesar ) of the chieftain of the enemy village played by actress Kirti Kulhari---she is worth a watch , especially because she exposes her lovely delicate flesh for all to see in a couple of sensuous scenes of bathing and lovemaking .

But other than her , there is little else to watch in the movie---the photography is only so so . Her rival played by actress Tannisha Chatterjee who also loves Bakka is not goodlooking , though she acts well .

So what is so good about Bakka that two women love him ?? What he is good at is convincing people that he can trace water by divine power , and in a sunbaked parched land water is as precious as gold....

And gold is what the villagers give to Bakka in order to get the foreigners' water digging machine which he gets by fraud , and it is the fraud that gets him in trouble with the villagers and the law for it costs him his friend's life and eventually his own.....

The villains play their roles well---both Mukul Dev and Yashpal Sharma are good at acting . But that does not save the film . It pretends to be a great art movie but does not work .

Both Amitabh Bacchan who is brand ambassador of Gujarat tourism and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi who had kicked off Kutch tourism festival in december would be appalled at the image of Kutch the film gives . But the armchair critics are giving good reviews of the film , so who cares for Amitabh and Narendra Modi.....

Verdict---Okay .
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