We went almost two months without any decent releases, thanks to the World Cup and the IPL (which I'm still miffed about since both my teams lost). May was a month of duds, dedicated to some truly disastrous and horrendous films like Haunted, Luv ka the End (which from the trailer seemed a lot like John Tucker Must Die) and Ready. But I managed to catch two nice ones (films I mean). The first, is Pyaar ka Punchnama. Which is hilarious, and awesome. Especially for all ye guys. Although I have absolutely no experience in romance area, it was good fun. Yeah, yeah, female bashing and stereotyping and all that jazz. But watch it to blow off steam, or bitch about your girlfriend or whatever. More related to that in another post.
Second. I've just come back from watching Shaitan. Having heard only good reviews about it on Twitter, I was going to watch it, come what may, in the theatres. It's about five friends who are totally wild (and sometimes appear deranged) and how one accident changes their lives forever. But man, are those kids totally crazy! The number of complete outrageous and sometimes frightening stunts that the kids manage to pull off is mind boggling. When the kids get into trouble, they have to pay off a cop to cover up the mess their badassery has gotten them into and to do that, they end up digging even a deeper pit for themselves. The flatness of the story aside, what you need to watch the film for, is the sheer brilliance of the camera work. It takes you through a dark, murky world - a world where despondency and chaos is the order of the day, and there are no rules or a moral fabric that holds it together - a world I'm sure most of us can only dream of knowing. There are a couple of sequences that are executed so well (the corporator scene for instance), that it makes me want to go and fall flat at the feet of the DOP and the director with reverence. Some scenes were so powerful that I wanted to leave everything and break into the movie. Then I remembered that I was too fat to fit into the projector. *laughs at stupid joke and mulls over how fat he has become*
You know that feeling you get sometimes when you just want to throw everything away and unleash? Or punch someone in the face? Or just scream at top of your lungs till the very end of the world hears what you have to say? Shaitan brings that feeling back. The background score is magnificent (there's also a song by Bhayanak Maut). The characters? Kalki is very likable despite her rebelliousness and cocaine addiction. Shiv Pandit as Dushyant Saha is definitely a good find. Watch out for KC - insane at times, weirdly indecisive and meek at others. I don't know what Nikhil Chinappa is doing here, but he's okay. There's a pretty funny sequence with a cameo from Rajat Barmecha (Udaan) but I think the writers just got carried away there.
But the best of them all is the macho cop Rajeev Khandelwal. The street chase, the bone-crunching kicks, the head-smashing punches - this guy carries an extra dose of mean wherever he goes and uses it to full extent. The shootout at a Bhindi Bazaar building is jaw-dropping. Few years back, he was the lead role in an Ekta Kapoor show. I hated him (partly also because all of my female friends kept gushing about how good-looking he was). Now, I have newfound respect for him.
I could identify several influences in the whole film - the gory fights with a sweetly remixed version of Khoya Khoya Chaand reminded me of Guy Ritchie. There are several montage sequences a la Ritchie. And the shoot out is a bit like the scene from Chan-wook's Oldboy where Oh Dae Su takes on around ten men at once. Mix in a bit of Danny Boyle and Tarantino. It's fantastic. I'm too lazy to even think of a better adjective for the film. The only thing I didn't like? Kalki's memories of her mother, totally unnecessary and also reminiscent of The Ring. Other than that, it's a cracker of a film - a rollercoaster ride that I wished never ended.
All in all, watch it. In the movie theatres. It's brilliant. And yes, I suggest you leave all your morality and social codes aside. Because the film has none.
PS: Kirti Kulhari is hot!