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Nawazuddin’s Monsoon Shootout will now release on 15 December; no clash with Tiger Zinda Hai

Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s much awaited Monsoon Shootout is all set to hit the silver screen on 15 December, according to the latest poster of the film.

Poster of Monsoon Shootout.

The poster of the film fits in perfectly with its genre — a crime-thriller drama — with hues of blood red as the poster’s background, Siddiqui’s face (bruised, battered and scarred) in monochrome and Vijay Verma’s silhouette in red, the poster cuts a chilling picture.

The film was supposed to see a theatrical release almost four years ago, however the release repeatedly kept getting stalled. Siddiqui had shot for Monsoon Shootout immediately after Gangs Of Wasseypur.

“For almost a year we were travelling across festivals with the film and then we wanted to wait and release the film when we felt the time was right.  We had a successful release of Haraamkhor earlier this year and 2017 has proven to be a year when good content films were being accepted. So we feel now is the best time to release the film,” said Monsoon Shootout‘s producer Guneet Monga in a statement.

Monga and her production house Sikhya Entertainment is known for producing content-driven films like Masaan and Lunchbox, apart from Haraamkhor.

Monsoon Shootout is a crime thriller film starring Siddiqui, Vijay Verma and Tannishtha Chatterjee.

This film is about a policeman facing a life-altering decision when he must decide to shoot or not.

It is directed by Amit Kumar, who earlier made an award-winning short film called Bypass with Siddiqui and Irrfan Khan.

Munna Michael movie review: Who cares about logic when you have dance, action courtesy Tiger Shroff?

It’s 1995. An aging dancer with a disturbing Michael Jackson hangover is removed from the chorus line of a dance troupe. Michael (Ronit Roy) is devastated. He’s seeking solace at the bottom of a bottle but fate has him wander past an abandoned baby. Michael adopts the child and raises him as Munna.

Inspired by his father, Munna Michael (Tiger Shroff) becomes a dancing machine and makes a quick buck by pulling cons on the dance floor. His inspiration is also Michael Jackson.

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It’s bad enough that our choreographers are stuck in a time warp – they either design sequences aping Jackson or are rehashing hip-hop moves from the mid-90s. But here we have a film where even the writer and director are holding on to nostalgia, not just in terms of inspiration and choreography but also a story line.

Munna Michael takes the comic route and the cold, corpse-like narrative comes alive with the introduction of the ever-reliable Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Siddiqui plays Mahinder Fauji – a hotelier and a thug with a soft corner for a dancer called Dolly (Nidhhi Agerwal). He believes the best way to impress her is by learning to dance, and for this job he hires Munna.

Let me explain that by this time Munna has left his ailing father in Mumbai and moved to Delhi to continue his con-on-the-dance-floor act. We don’t know what his father is suffering from and why Munna cannot think of any other career option but being a dancing cheat. But there you have it.

The moment Munna sets eyes on Dolly, it’s love at first shimmy and shake. Dolly’s dream is to win a dance show on TV. The men believe she’s a dancing queen. But Agerwal dancing is passable at best with her studied moves making her barely convincing as a champion dancer. Maybe she should have joined Munna’s dance classes! Alongside her, Shroff’s robotic moves almost look fluid.

Munna is assigned the job of helping Mahinder court Dolly and then, when she flees from Delhi, Munna must bring her back to Mahinder. What Dolly wants is, of course, of little consequence to Mahinder giving Munna an opportunity to deliver a lesson about that. Fortunately Mahinder’s obsession doesn’t become too creepy as the character is shown to be mean as nails otherwise but soft when it comes to matters of the heart. Siddiqui looks like he’s really enjoying the dance lesson sequences even as he flubs the steps.

Director Sabbir Khan and writer Vimi Datta have designed a film that is serviced by Shroff’s two skills – dancing and action. In spite of being predictable story with slack storytelling, Khan once again (Heropanti, Baaghi) showcases just what is needed to keep Shroff’s fans satisfied.

Put in enough of these two elements and who cares about logic, story, acting or originality.

Baaghi’ review: As plastic as Tiger Shroff’s over-bronzed body in the posters

Baaghi is a slickly packaged empty vessel. The action choreography is striking, the locations are exquisite, the camerawork polished, the art design impressive, the cast well dressed. Scratch the attractive surface though, and you get a dated, cliched storyline that compartmentalises hero, heroine, villains and comedians in the way Hindi films of the 1970s and 1980s did.

The story begins in the menacing Bangkok den of a rogue called Raghav Shetty, who is on the lookout for Sia Khurana. Cut to Hyderabad, where she is shooting for a film directed by her Daddy, when the numero uno baddie’s goons abduct her. Martial arts expert Ronnie Singh is called in to rescue the damsel in distress. Ronnie and Sia have a past. Time for explanatory flashback.

Tiger Shroff and Shraddha Kapoor in Baaghi

Cut to Kollam railway station in Kerala where boy and girl met, girl pretended to resist boy, they fell in love, fate split them up, reunited them, Raghav split them up again and so on. It is a formula that is so dull and dusted that even Sunny Deol has stopped revisiting it.

Baaghi’s writer Sanjeev Dutta seems to have a thing for antiquity though. This is the sort of film where the hero is omnipotent and successfully bashes up dozens of men single-handedly, as did male leads of pre-1990s Hindi cinema who sought to replicate and cash in on the success of Amitabh Bachchan’s Angry Young Man formula. Here, like it was back then, the heroine’s only role is to be good-looking, charming and if possible dance sweetly/sexily enough to make the hero fall in love with her, thus providing him with a motivation to bash the bad guys in the end.

The villains here too are uni-dimensional cardboard cut-outs. Comedians are slotted in to relieve tension even in the middle of a hectic chase. Love happens at the first sight of a pretty face who fakes disinterest in the hero though of course she is keen on him because, well, you know, after all he is the hero. What else was she created for but to fall for him?

Besides, do we not also know that when a woman says “no” she means “maybe”? Ronnie, an absolute stranger who just met Sia a few minutes back on a train, blows a kiss to her from a station platform. She shows irritation but turns away to hide a smile. This film may not be as aggressive or overt as the song Koi haseena jab rootth jaati hai from Sholay, Jumma chumma de de from Hum, Jumme ki raat from Kick or Tu hi to hai from Holiday, but it does make that regressive point all the same.

The film’s only selling points are its only novelties. First, it is set almost entirely in Kerala, which translates into an eyeful of stunning locales, the famed snake boat race (vallam kali) in scenic backwaters and miles of greenery all around. Second, Ronnie is in Kerala to learn the state’s traditional martial arts form Kalaripayattu, which has a way of transforming men into Rudolf Nureyev and Birju Maharaj while they smash and slice other human beings to bits.

Tiger Shroff as Ronnie gets the bulk of the film’s fights and has clearly worked hard to learn Kalari. Many points to him for that and what he has achieved with his body. He must, however, control the tendency to pose about, which is never more evident than in scenes where he replicates his Guru’s moves and comes across as a mannequin, while the old man looks like a battle axe and a ballet dancer rolled into one.

In terms of acting, Tiger’s exaggerated expressions are one with the film’s penchant for overstatement. To be fair, he seems like he would do better with better direction, even if it is hard to ignore the fact that his Caucasian facial features make him a bit of a misfit in Indian cinema. He absolutely does not look Punjabi, although that is what he is meant to be in this film; he looks European. Perhaps he will figure a way around that.

And while I’m all for men showing off their beautiful bodies on screen, could someone explain why so many Hindi film heroes these days make it a point to rip off their shirts before a fight? Sure they look good, but is there a scientific logic here that has escaped me? Just asking.

Shraddha Kapoor as Sia is well turned out and gets a couple of fight scenes of her own. It is nice to see the actress throwing punches and kicks with such elan. Her acting in the early scenes though, is over-cutesified. Time to cross over into the adult world, girl. You are too good to waste yourself playing and replaying a child-like innocent who is an appendage to the hero. Of the remaining performers, Sudheer Babu Posani merits a mention for his Kalari moves as Ronnie’s bête noir Raghav Shetty. It is curious though that Sudheer, who is a Telugu actor, manages his Malayalam diction so poorly in the film. He keeps addressing his father as “Aachan” when it should be “Achchan”, a word that even a north Indian might easily get right if you point out that the “chch” is pronounced precisely as it is in Bachchan. Simple, no?

Veteran Sanjay Mishra and Sumit Gulati (who we saw last year in Talvar) enter the picture at one point to provide what is conventionally called “comic relief”. If a blind man bumping into things or mistakenly feeling up a woman’s legs makes you laugh, then the director has got what he wants. Some people, hopefully, have better taste.

Director Sabbir Khan made his debut with Kambakkht Ishq in 2009 starring Kareena Kapoor and Akshay Kumar, which he followed up with Tiger and Kriti Sanon’s debut Hindi film Heropanti in 2014. Both films revealed his love for bombast.

In Baaghi, he adds to his shoulders the burden of targeting Salman Khan and Akshay’s traditional audience. And so, Tiger is given an old-style punchline to repeat through the film: “Itni bhi jaldi kya hai? Abhi toh maine start kiya hai.” (What’s the rush? I’ve only just begun.) It is hard to imagine why the producers thought this ordinary writing would be as memorable as, say, Salman’s “Ek baar jo maine commitment ki, toh apne aap ki bhi nahin sunta” (Once I make a commitment, I do not allow myself to hold me back) or that Tiger has the panache to elevate it.

More triteness comes in the form of Baaghi’s effort to cash in on the prevailing tension between India and our neighbour China, as Hindi cinema once did with Chinese-looking villains around the time of the 1962 war or before that in the just-post- Independence era when seemingly Western Roberts were the bad people. Here, Raghav’s henchman Yong tells Ronnie: “You killed my brother, you Indian. You think you can fight? We fight. Chinese fight.” Ronnie beats him to pulp before replying grandly, “Sorry, China ka maal zyaada tikta nahin hai (Chinese goods do not last long).

Might as well have gone a step further with a crowd-pleasing, sarkar-pleasing “Bharat Mata ki jai!” yelled out by the hero. The chest-thumping suits the film’s emptiness. Gloss sans substance tends to make a lot of noise.

Here is the reason why Jackie Chan is curious about Tiger Shroff

Any one who has grown up on a diet of watching Jackie Chan movies doesn’t dither to accept it as China’s indigenous art form.

However, in a recent interview Tiger Shroff, who has honed the skill for his next film Baaghi, claimed it to be an Indian art form that gained popularity through China. This raised eyebrows and apparently didn’t go down very well with the poster boy of martial art films, Jackie Chan.

Poster of 'Baaghi'

In an earlier interview Tiger had said, “There are conflicting opinions on whether it actually originated from the teachings of an Indian Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma, who arrived in China from India in the 6th century or not. One thing is for certain and that is, he most definitely brought a form of martial arts with him, most likely Kalaripayattu, and transformed the newly formed Shaolin temple and the Buddhist monks settled there into dedicating themselves to Kung Fu and becoming a warrior elite whose fame spread throughout China and then all over the world.”

Jackie Chan, who is in India shooting for his next Kung Fu Yoga in Jaipur, happened to read the above media report and was shocked to hear an Indian actor was making such claims.

“This comment of his, on Kung Fu having its origins in India, has not only shocked the martial arts maestro Jackie Chan, but it has also made him extremely curious about the subject, since Kung Fu has been an extremely important part of his career,” reveals an industry insider, on condition of anonimity.

“He wants to meet Tiger and know the basis of his comment. He also asked people from the crew and his near dear ones to do some research on it as he wants to find out the correct fact,” said the source.

Produced by Sajid Nadiadwal, Baaghi is a rebellious Love story, which will feature Shraddha and Tiger going against all odds for love.