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Just no crackle

garam masala

Director: Priyadarshan Cast: Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Paresh Rawal, Rajpal Yadav, Rimii, Neetu Chandra, Daisy Bopanna, Nargis, (Neha Dhupia)

3.5/10

His dream run began with some Hera Pheri that left a laughter-starved audience craving for more. Encouraged by the response, he created a Hungama inside cinemas, which ultimately led to quite a Hulchul at the box-office. This time, Priyadarshan has brought with him some old southern spice ' a remake of his Malayalam film Boeing Boeing ' packaged as a new assortment of comic condiments called Garam Masala. Unfortunately for his eager audience, this masala doesn’t crackle.

Ritu Parna Dutta

Chaotic mess

shaadi no. 1

Director: David Dhawan Cast: Sunjay Dutt, Fardeen Khan, Ayesha Takia, Zayed Khan, Esha Deol, Sharman Joshi, Soha Ali Khan, Aarti Chhabria, Riya Sen, Sophia Choudhary, Satish Shah

3.5/10

The desperation with which every hero worth or not worth his running speed is chasing whatever’s still there of the skirt is understandable. Tug on while it’s still there! Fardeen is not even taking a rest between tugging Celina’s and Bips’ in No Entry to whoever’s in Shaadi No 1.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter whose. Too many girls around to remember who paired or coochie-cooed with whom. A horsish Esha at least stands out. And if you are curious about Riya, well, she was there, but hardly matters where. Zayed is cool, but not garam still. And in the midst of the three men and their wives with all the chaos in their lives is Sanju Baba, very hopefully named Lucky Bhai by Dhawan. Just doesn’t work.

Three men and three wives seems like the Anees Bazmi film' Which had actually seemed more like a Dhawan film' And this Dhawan film actually seems like a firsttimer trying to be Dhawanish' Quite a chaotic mess there.

Deepali Singh

Good bad film

rajmahal

Director: Swapan Saha Cast: Prosenjit, Abhishek Chatterjee, Rachana Banerjee, Anu Choudhury

4/10

He may not appeal to multiplexes and critics but Swapan Saha once again shows that he knows his audience by cleverly knitting popular ingredients into a vengeful ghost story. Carrying the tale is an eccentric psychiatrist and various tantriks, a comic uncle and tragic sister plus, of course, a bloodthirsty ghost to make abdominal butterflies restive periodically.

In between, stocky heroes and willowy heroines dance around bushes with rapid wardrobe changes. There is even a vigorous jhatka number with pulsating midriff tyres. Such distractions apart, the film about a 150-year

old ghost released from a locked room of the ancient Rajmahal mixes enough suspense, comedy, mystery and romance to recover its modest ticket price. True, the plot is sometimes thin and the music ordinary. Everyone hams a bit, Prosenjit in particular, with only Anu showing some versatility. Enjoy, with suspended disbelief.

Sudip Mallik

With, yawn, a twist

sathi aamar

Director: Shankar Roy Cast: Prosenjit, Rachana Banerjee, Anubhav

4/10

Except for occasional lapses of melodrama, this one is quite bearable. Prosenjit (looking a little old for his part) is the poor little young lover, while Rachana is the poor (metaphorically) little rich girl. Naturally, he falls in love with her but' surprise, surprise, it turns out she already has a lover in debutant Anubhav. Fortunately, there is an accident in which the lover pops off and the girl becomes blind. This gives our hero a chance to mimic the former and nurse the latter until she recovers her sight and sees him for what he is worth.

Sunayani Ganguly

Opulent inspiration

shubhodrishti

Director: Prabhat Roy Cast: Jeet, Koel Mallik, Parambrata Chatterjee, Rupa Bhattacharya, Labony Sarkar

6/10

Wonder what was stopping the Bengali directors from getting inspiration from Sooraj R. Barjatya movies for so long. Bengali marriages are rich with rituals, with every scope for song, dance and merriment. It took more than a decade from Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994) to a Shubhodrishti.

Well, it’s a treat to watch opulence for a change. The film looks almost as rich in terms of production. Good clothes, huge mansions, lavish marriages, and a big happy family. When the older sister gets married the younger one, Koel, silently falls in love with her brother-in-law, Jeet. And that calls for one more marriage accompanied by all the fanfare.

Can’t say Prabhat Roy copies shamelessly as he changes the events of tragedy that follows. He basically plays safe, predictably, and hastily clears the mist. But on the whole, Shubhodrishti scores well with its lively songs and a general lively feel.

Madhuparna Das

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