In director R Balki’s Cheeni Kum (PG) 139min (3 Stars) 64-year-old temperamental London chef Bhuddadev (Amitabh Bachchan) falls for 34-year old modern Indian sophisticate Nina (Tabu). Comedy and drama arise from the age difference. Initial comparisons with Nishabd are bound to arise, but are somewhat unfair as the two movies differ wildly in tone, style and themes, here focussing on two world weary, intelligent loners who connect through their fear that life/love has passed them by.
Apoorva Lakhia’s Shoot Out at Lokhandwala (12A) 150min (4 Stars) factionalises a six hour bloody gun battle between Mumbai’s Anti-Terrorism Squad, led by Khan (Sanjay Dutt) and underworld gangleader Maya (Vivek Oberoi), with able support from Amrita Singh as Maya’s mother (a Bollywood Ma Baker) and Bachchan Snr (again) investigating the aftermath. Underpaid and disillusioned with bureaucracy, the cops adopt a shoot-to-kill policy resulting in a fight to the bitter end with the gang. Combining fast paced action with actual and fictionalised news footage, there’s a Wild West feel to the inevitable carnage in an unrepentant policier that raises more questions than it answers.
Ahmed Khan’s debut Fool’n’Final (12A) 144min (1 Star) replicates Guy Ritchie’s Snatch with requisite crimelords, stolen diamonds and hard knuckle fighting, plus all the colour, masala and gloss of Bollywood. Unfortunately the modern innovative style and slick graphics don’t compensate for the inane script and ridiculous juvenile tone - wideboys may be amused.
The Train: Some Lines Should Never Be Crossed (15) 134min (3 Stars) is reminiscent of Hollywood thriller Derailed. Ad executive Vishal (Emraan Hashmi) embarks on an illicit affair with fellow commuter Roma (Geeta Basra) only to find himself swept into a maelstrom of violence, blackmail and deception. Bollywood’s previous foray into erotic thrillers (Red, Aetraaz, Fida) often err on the side of uncomfortable titillation, mainly due to strict censorship, but this movie’s explicit eroticism sets it apart. The tone is fairly menacing, but the leads (in particular Hashmi) don’t possess enough charm or grace for us to empathise with the good guy.
Anil Sharma’s melodrama Apne (12A) 138min (3 Stars) follows aging ex-boxer Baldev (Dharmendra) as he tries to vilify his tarnished reputation by training sons Karan and Angad (real-life sons Sunny and Bobby Deol). Tragedy ensues and family loyalties are tested in this solidly entertaining drama, which also stars Shilpa Shetty.
Following the brilliantly fun Bunty Aur Babli, Shaad Ali wows audiences with Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (pictured) (12A) 131min (4 Stars). Prim British/Pakistani Alvira (Preity Zinta) falls for Southall Punjabi roughneck Rikki (Abishek Bachchan), despite both having fiancés. The ensuing complications are resolved in a stylish, modern and engaging movie with big musical numbers, amusing comedy and all the emotional theatrics of a big Bollywood spectacle. What more could you want? (Ghazala Butt)
All films on selected release from Fri 22 Jun.