Firangi movie review: Neither too funny nor too patriotic, this one's a drag | Bollywood Bubble

Firangi movie review: Neither too funny nor too patriotic, this one’s a drag

Firangi Rajiev Dhingra
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Firangi movie review: Neither too funny nor too patriotic, this one’s a drag

Firangi movie review

Directed By: Rajiev Dhingra
Produced By: Kapil Sharma
Cast: Kapil Sharma, Ishita Dutt, Monica Gill
Duration: 2 hours 40 minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 2.5/5

Kapil Sharma, a name popular for his comic timing on the small screen, is one film old in the industry. He is back as an actor-producer with the comedy-drama ‘Firangi’. Starkly contrasting to his debut vehicle ‘Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon’, ‘Firangi’ is set in the pre-Independence era of 1920s. While we have seen various movies on the pre-Independence era, this one can’t be added to the list of those because it has tinges of comedy in place as the trailer suggests. And with Kapil Sharma leading the starcast, you surely do expect some of his trademark wittiness to initiate a few giggles here and there. Does the movie manage to live up to the expectations? Umm, let’s discover in the movie review.

The movie tells the tale of India before 21 years of attaining Independence when Gandhiji’s path of non-violence had taken the country by storm. In a small village of Punjab, Manga (Kapil Sharma) a good-for-nothing young man, who is jobless and cursed strongly by villagers for sitting idle and being of no use to his family. However, he has the power to Kick people out of their pains and this power turns out to become his lucky charm as a British officer Mark Daniels (played by Edward Sonnenblick) summons him and offers him a job at the cantonment. Manga instantly takes up the lucrative opportunity and believes it to be the right time to impress the village belle Sargi (played by Ishita Dutta) to marry him and tries convincing her family. However, his plan gets foiled as Sargi’s grandfather Lala ji (Aanjjan Srivastav) disapproves of the match because according to him, Manga is a servant of the Britishers and Lala ji wants to rid the Indians from the British rule ala by following into the footsteps of Gandhiji.

Meanwhile, Mark Daniels along with the local King Raja Inderjeet Singh hatches a plan to build a liquor factory as Daniels wants to marry the King’s London-return pretty daughter Shyamali (Monica Gill) while the two intend to collaborate for a partnership. The two have their eyes set on the land where their village is built. This results in too many problems as the evil King and Daniels decide on a partnership and conveniently fool the villagers including Manga. The rest as they say is quite predictable. If we closely understand the concept of the movie which isn’t rocket-science, it seems slightly inspired from Ashutosh Gowariker’s critically acclaimed movie ‘Lagaan’. A villager in love with a village belle stands up against the Britishers to rid of the agonies of the villagers. Then, a desi mem in the form of Shyamali here who is not interested in marrying the British officer, here Mark Daniels (inspired from Russell).

While Edward Sonnenblick seems pretty convincing as the conniving Britisher, Monica Gill is average. Kumud Mishra as the local King looks pretty much menacing as the evil ruler. Kapil Sharma as Manga isn’t impactful enough to evoke sympathy or even make you laugh. He is fairly okay, and his lead actress Ishita Dutta is also strictly average. The supporting cast comprising of actors like Rajesh Sharma, Aanjjan Srivastav, Inaamulhaq are decent in their roles reminding us of the villagers from ‘Lagaan’ who form a cricket team. The dialogues are weak and make no sense in many scenes. A dialogue where Shyamali says, “Maut uske saamne thi, par woh mara nahi”, made us cringe heavily and then another one where the villagers say, “Angrezo ke baare mein suna tha, aaj sunn bhi liya.” Haha! You got the gist, right? The music by Jatinder Singh is fairly average.

The long run-time of 161 minutes acts as a deterrent to this unconvincing, predictable and unfunny plot which gets boring and dragged towards the end. Only diehard fans of Kapil Sharma can give this a watch to see him experiment with a different genre. Our verdict: Can give it a miss.

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Aiyaary movie review: The men in army fail to shine through the muddled up plot

Directed By: Neeraj Pandey
Produced By: Shital Bhatia, Dhaval Gada, Jayantilal Gada, Karan Shah
Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Manoj Bajpayee, Rakul Preet Singh, Pooja Chopra
Duration: 2 Hours 40 Minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 2/5

After delivering taut thrillers like ‘A Wednesday’ and ‘Special 26’, hopes are high from his new outing ‘Aiyaary’, but does it manage to convey it’s message efficiently? Let’s unravel in the movie review…

‘Aiyaary’ (which means ultimate trickery), is about a young army officer named Captain Jay Bakshi (Sidharth Malhotra) who goes rogue with a hefty purpose to expose the dirty secrets of the military forces. His mentor Col. Abhay Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) is an incorruptible army man who heads a covert cell and guns down traitors. Ever since Major Jay Bakshi absconds, Col. Singh has only one mission, to hunt him down. Here begins a cat and mouse Chase although with loads of unwarranted confusion.

While Col. Singh believes himself to be the smarter one, Major Bakshi outsmarts him and he isn’t Alone, a nifty hacker in the form of Sonia helps him. Bakshi wants to expose the deadly misgivings of a retired army man played by Kumud Mishra who has grown corrupt and earns help from a businessman played by Adil Hussain. Does he succeed or does Bakshi manage to expose him? Does Singh manage to catch hold of his protégé gone rogue? Too many questions that could have been dealt with methodically, but everything goes down the drain with poor execution and unnecessarily over explained and stretched portions. The entire plot gets lost and confused with too many sequences jumbled up together which right till the end remain a mystery.

Manoj Bajpayee is the only standout in this muddled up, almost three hours long thriller. Sidharth Malhotra is decent while Rakul Preet Singh is fairly okay. Pooja Chopra is barely seen whereas all senior bunch of actors like Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah, Kumud Mishra and Adil Hussain are utterly wasted with no clear character sketches drawn. Naseeruddin Shah’s dialogue delivery seems like a hangover from ‘A Wednesday’ whereas Anupam Kher is totally wasted. The only character that makes sense is Colonel Abhay Singh and Bajpayee rightfully delivers.

Overall, ‘Aiyaary’ is a complex and too stretched thriller with no clear direction of the happenings. Clearly avoidable.

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PadMan movie review: Story of an ordinary man who spun wonder out of life's straw

Directed By: R Balki
Produced By: Mrs Funnybones Movies, KriArj Entertainment, Cape of Good Films, Hope Productions, SPE Films India
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Radhika Apte
Duration: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

Bollywood Bubble Rating: 3/5

If you believe you can, you are halfway there. Parents use this therapy to their children who are sinking in schools and colleges. Just, they don’t tell you there would be teenage crushes, diet fads, breakups, insufficient pocket money and unbearable math classes. Was that too weird to begin my ‘PadMan’ review with?

Even before I begin analysing ‘PadMan’ as a film, I think films like these should be lauded just because they’re being made. That actors and filmmakers are using cinema as a tool to strike conversations, tickle thoughts and raise debates, itself is a relief; especially in a country of over 100 crores with numerous problems, most of them neither spoken nor understood.

The film is based on a Tamil Nadu based social activist who invented a low-cost sanitary napkin producing machine. Lakshmikant Chauhan, a man from an MP village, learns of rural women’s plight during menstruation after he is married to Gayatri (Radhika Apte)… Or, why am I even using ‘rural’ when the taboos are equally prevalent in urban spheres as well? Determined to bring more hygiene to how the women at his home handle periods but aware that they can’t afford to buy the sanitary napkins available in stores, he begins attempts of making them himself.

For every innovative idea, you’ve to pay a price. For Lakshmikant, it’s on the heavier side. In the course of communicating to women and understanding the problems better, he earns the tag of ‘loose character’. His two sisters and wife leave him. Devastated with the constant emotional ups and downs, he leaves his village; however, with the determination of succeeding at his attempts one day.

Rest shapes a man’s bumpy journey towards fulfilment. Not without hiccups, though.

Through the first half, we’re taken to visit how the revolutionist has to walk on thorns if he decides to mould the society’s behaviour. This portion, although necessary and paves way to the latter part, is dragged and feels longer than what it is.

In the latter part, as Lakshmikant nears his goal, enters Pari (Sonam Kapoor), a beautiful, intelligent and compassionate woman who becomes an indispensable of Lakshmikant’s journey. How a fresh MBA and a deserving candidate of a fat-paying corporate job leaves many prospects and sets off on a mission to help village women and spread health awareness on menstruation, is empowering, to say the least. BUT! Why would Bollywood necessarily instill romantic equations whenever we have a woman and a man playing equally crucial parts in the story’s development? That part feels not only forced, but also cliched.

Other than that, ‘PadMan’ is purely a testimony of a man’s journey from nothing to contentment; solely banking upon on his own desires of bringing about positive changes and helping them sustain. If you ignore a few exaggerations (and I fear I don’t have takers for saying this), it is an inspiring film and could create positive impacts. Decently shot by P.C. Sreeram and rightly complemented with soundtracks composed by Amit Trivedi, it features noticeable performances from both Radhika Apte and Akshay Kumar; and not to forget, a fluent Sonam Kapoor in a short yet pivotal role.

Watch ‘PadMan’ to encourage more films that talk about REAL problems; more real than fairytale love stories. 🙂 Even the real love stories are tested with bad times, remember? Like that of Lakshmikant and Gayatri.

Author’s Note: My first ever day as a menstruating girl? ‘Congratulations’ from mom, and a huge bowl of Mishti Doi after dinner. 🙂

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