Movies

Tees Maar Khan: Stretching a thin plot too far







Producers: Shirish Kunder, Ronnie Screwvala, Twinkle Khanna.
Director: Farah Khan.
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Aksheye Khanna.

MUMBAI: It is a tricky job to define the genre of Tees Maar Khan. Is it a comedy, a caper movie, a crime film? It is none of these. When that happens, the film becomes mishmash and that is what this film is.


Taking a gag often used in many other films, that of carrying out a grand robbery in the guise of a film shooting, is the main theme of Tees Maar Khan and, to say the least, that is stretching a thin plot too far.


Akshay Kumar is a robber of repute who can break any lock and break out of shackles with ease. He is engaged by conjoined twins called Johri Brothers to steal a treasure worth Rs 5 billion weighing 10,000 kg, being transported by a train.


Akshay Kumar identifies a spot, a sleepy village called Dhulia, touching the railway tracks. He informs the village folk that he is there to shoot a film and asks them to be part of it. On the other hand, he talks Akshaye Khanna in to doing his film which he promises to be Oscar material.


Khanna is convinced it would have been him collecting an Oscar award instead of Anil Kapoor only if his secretary had informed him about Danny Boyle‘s call. Now Akshay Kumar is all set to rob the train carrying the 10,000 kg treasure.


The question is how to hold the film together and the audience engrossed while all this happens! And that is where the film lacks grossly. There are not enough gags or funny situations to fill the reels and those which are used are stale and lack punch.


For want of content, the film also incorporates an unnecessary song and a track of headless ghost; again very stale and not funny. The idea is ambitious that everybody should be funny and since there are no lines or gags for them, they rely on making faces and buffoonery. Attempts are made to fill up lack of content by roping in Salman Khan and Anil Kapoor for special appearances.


Sadly, Salman Khan‘s item number is a total waste. In fact, Tees Maar Khan loses steam about 15 minutes into the film after the song Sheela ki jawani and becomes intolerable post-interval.


The writing is very poor and lacking in imagination. Farah Khan, trying to do a Manmohan Desai, does not come anywhere close to the maestro; while Manmohan Desai dished out implausible ideas but made sure the audience was kept engrossed enough not to reflect, Farah‘s stuff here is banal.


Music is a give up after Sheela ki jawani. Background score is out of sync with the events. The film also lacks finesse, having been shot on shoddy sets and mostly on one outdoor location.


Akshay Kumar looks bad and adds to one‘s misery with bad performance. Katrina Kaif has nothing to do except hang around. Akshaye Khanna looks like the only one taking his job seriously. Rest are just props.


With Tees Maar Khaan, Farah Khan loses a lot of her goodwill with the audience. Being the first and probably only likely viewing option over the Christmas holidays, it may see the weekend through with some dignity but the fall from grace is imminent soon after.


                                 Toonpur Ka Superhero: A film excessively dependent on technology










Producers: Krishika Lulla and Kumar Mangat Pathak.
Writer-Director: Kireet Khurana.
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Amey Pandya, Chinky Jaiswal.

Toonpur Ka Superhero is an animation film blended with live action. It is an experiment that is time consuming, costly, as well as excessively dependent on technology.


Besides the fact that the technology required is now available, there is also the availability of corporate finance for such a project which, otherwise, would be considered too risky to attempt by a standalone producer.


There is trouble brewing in Toonpur (Cartoon world) as the democracy has been destroyed and the reigns are taken over by Toonasurs (evil toons) and the Devtoons (good toons) are terrorised and made to suffer. The Devtoons need a saviour to free them from the tyranny of the Toonasurs since they, on their own, can‘t match the might of the Toonasurs. Their web search pinpoints film action hero Aditya (Ajay Devgn) whom they have seen doing all super hero acts on screen. By consensus, they kidnap Ajay Devgn and take him to their world.


Ajay Devgn, however popular he may be with his fans, has his worst critics at home. His kids chide him for being a fake superhero since the stunts he did on screen and got all the laurels for were actually done by his duplicate. Having landed in Toonpur, Ajay Devgn thinks that finally this was his chance to save the good toons (from his children‘s favourite cartoon show, we are told as if in an after thought!) and prove to be a real and not only a reel hero.


A children‘s film can no more be made to cater to a particular age group; it would be wiser to design it according to intellectual levels. Toonpur Ka Superhero falls short on this count and dishes out more juvenile stuff. While Ajay Devgn‘s character merits a detailed introduction, the toon world, its characters and that they are his kids‘ favourite, comes out of the blue. It is not as if the cartoon characters were popular with kids and kids identified with.


The cartoon characters are an inspired mix of a few from popular comic books like Asterix & Obelix to caricatures of various lingual regions of India to some real life people; like Gappu, inspired by Cacofonix, is supposed to be a caricature of Bappi Lahiri as if kids today would get the joke on him. The climax is interesting but hurried through; also the first of three games, that of Wild West duals; how many kids are familiar with the Wild West today?


Ajay Devgn is okay, Kajol, Amey Pandya and Chinky Jaiswal have little to do. Technically the film is near perfect. Writer-director Kireet Khurana surely deserves kudos for his direction if not for writing. Music is functional and full of Punjabi flavour which one can‘t fathom why!! Dialogue is average.



                                   Keeping traditional fare alive, Rajshris try to go contemporary








Producers: Kamal Kumar Barjatya, Rajkumar Barjatya, Ajit Kumar Barjatya.
Director: Vidhi Kasliwal.
Cast: Akshay Oberoi, Sandeepa Dhar, Mohnish Behl, Shagufta Ali, Prachi Shah
Isi Life Mein has the Rajshri brand embossed all over it; a typical small and happy khandan where every person touches the feet of the elderly person and waits for aadesh (orders) from an elder even to sit down for a meal. This seemingly affluent family is compact and loves to continue its image of a community leader and philanthropist.
Having had their way so far with the family setting, Rajshris try to go contemporary and the film even has a F*** word! In a way, the film is a marriage of the Rajshri‘s family fare with the contemporary.

The film is about a traditional small town girl, Sandeepa Dhar, coming to Mumbai, getting in to a college, joining a clique and finding a vocation (drama in this case) and soon the city way of life. She turns in to a Pepsi swigging thoroughly modern Millie. There is some dance and frolic in a kind of college atmosphere no real collegian can identify with but that‘s how it is in films! Meanwhile, the romance has blossomed between the girl and her senior, Akshay Oberoi, a passionate dramatist.


When the modern part comes to end, the traditional Rajshri side takes over again. The girl is to be married off into a respected family (gharana). The respected gharana turns out to be bad guys and the hero, Akshay Oberoi, is the right guy for the girl. Dramatically, the baraat is sent back from the mandap.


Isi Life Mein shows up to be an outcome of economically budgeted film; tacky sets and faceless supporting cast gives it away. There are good parts in song and dance sequences and while the clique is shown having fun. There are also some touching emotional scenes.


Akshay Oberoi alternates between a troubled or an awestruck look throughout. Sandeepa Dhar keeps twitching her nose and making eyes all along in an attempt to look cute. Mohnish Behl also limits his expression to one. Shagufta Ali does well. Supporting cast is okay.


Direction is patchy. Music is peppy with good orchestration.


Isi Life Mein faces major oppositions this week and will find it very tough to sustain.

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