It catches your attention for some time but elsewise Babumoshai Bandookbaaz is a misfired bullet

The Cinema Station’s Rating: Sleeper Class Journey (2.0/5)

Gangsters from the rural section of the country, political killings and dark characters are all tried and tested themes in Bollywood. Babumoshai Bandookbaaz experiments a genre that’s been Bollywood’s baby off late but despite a few interesting scenes and well-carved characters, the Nawzuddin starrer has very less to offer. Directed by Kushan Nandy the film revolves around the dark lives of hitmen hired for political killings in the rural parts of the country.

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The journey kicks off with bashing dialogues and loud gunfires that set the tone of the next 2 hours of this gangster drama. From the very beginning, the film establishes Nawazuddin as the sole care taker of the film, which gets more evident as we move ahead. With his sassy dialogues, cheesy flirting and badass attitude, the character of Nawazuddin looks to be well invested upon. Characters of Phulwa (Bidita Baig), Jiji (Divya Dutta) and Baake (Jatin Goswami) are provided an interesting background and list of sultry dialogues and acts that keep you glued to them during the first half. The scene settings and expositions are brilliant and well thought of. Locations and camera angles are beautifully done and add more intent to the film than the story line does. Vishal Mittal and his cinematography adds a lot of value to this otherwise confusing gunfight drama.

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The film offers a lot in almost every department in its first half and the second half begins with the same passion and charisma. Intense conversations, emotions and intriguing twists and turns to the story line start to take shape as the engine keeps roaring on its way to an expectedly thrilling end. It’s right after an intense chase scene of Nawazuddin and Jatin that I felt the film starts to lose its charm. The characters which were are heroes in the first half are reduced to mere dialogue delivering bodies as the responsibility of entertainment solely falls on the Babumoshai Bandookbaaz. Unwanted songs, surplus conversations and plot points marr this journey which could have been much more than what it is reduced to.

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After losing its course for a good 45 minutes, the film somehow manages to find its destination which is again, more of a crash landing than a systematic and aligning train halt. I just wish the makers would have given the same amount of thought to their story as they did to their characters. Finally, neither Babu nor his stylish and charismatic on-screen aura is able to save you from being doomed by a highly expected entertainer meeting a dreadful end.

 

Jagga Jasoos left me spellbound

The Cinema Station’s Rating:

A refreshing concept, art direction to its best, songs that are good and don’t feel unnecessary and a story that makes you feel for it are just some of the traits of this exemplary ride. I went in with high expectations, and not even for a moment did Anurag Basu or his team fail to impress me. Despite the high buzz around the texture of the film, Jagga Jasoos does really well in building up to the climax and finally making the smoothest landing possible.

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It begins on a musical note and takes some time to sink in. But, when it does Jagga Jassos keeps you gripped to the seat for its entire running length. The film was shot in patches across a span of almost 2 years across multiple locations in India and Africa, but, one does not feel the disconnect or gap even for a moment. Anurag Basu has done his homework properly as he takes to shed light upon the Naxal arms racquet in the North East in the most innocent picture possible. The journey unfolds with Katrina Kaif narrating the heroics of Jagga with later going into the backdrop of Jagga’s character. The protagonist played by Ranbir Kapoor has a well-done character sketch with the correct mix of emotion, skill and fear.

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In addition to the crazy cartoonish backdrop which Anurag Basu chooses to tell his story, the film follows a musical pattern with most of the dialogues and conversations in the couplets and short songs. Given, such challenges, the journey keeps you intrigued with its twists and turns and every station stop promises you some entertainment. For a moment, I thought that Basu picked up from where Barfi left by etching a verbally challenged Ranbir Kapoor and a goofed up Katrina Kaif. Katrina, who plays a journalist from Kolkata adds to the balance in the script but suffers from her common expressions problem. I could observe scenes where despite trying really hard she is unable to match the class and effort of Ranbir, which is one of the only thing wrong with this musical-adventure love story.

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Similar to his earlier films, Basu maintains sync with his style by forcing a well written and orchestrated supporting cast composed of Saurabh Shukla, Sayani Gupta,  Saswata Chatterjee (remember Bob Biswas, the killer, from Kahaani) and Denzil Smith. The ride which brings you an immense flavor of Bengal with Bengali accents, the Kolkata tram and Assamese folk dances depicts study and understanding of the culture in great detail. Another part that you will love about Jagga Jassos is that you never feel that the film has out of place songs. Keeping the musical genre in mind, the songs have been done really well and only help you fine tune and get more involved with Jagga’s adventures.

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Well, there is a lot to write and the level of impact the film has left on me I could go on and on. WIth Jagga Jasoos, Bollywood takes another step towards classy cinema as it ends up being a well-ventured experiment with fruitful takeaways. Summing up my experience, Jagga Jasoos is what you should surely watch because there are rare films that couple intent and emotion

It does not take much time to fall in love with this Sassy and Badass Bandookbaaz

We loved it in Gangs of Wasseypur, then again in Raman Raghav, and now, once again he dons the same impulsive and rash gangster avtaar in Babumoshai Bandookbaaz. It should not take much time to fall in love with the character of Nawazuddin who pretty much, runs the entire 3-minute trailer and owns his space as the protagonist. Shot in the rural lands of the country, Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, is the story of a gangster who does practically everything, from killing people to falling in love.

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  • The film gives a clear indication of it being a one man show. But, timely appearances of Divya Dutta, Murli Sharma and Shradha Das lighten up the screen and could possibly share the load. The 3-minute long trailer gives a glimpse of a captivating Divya Dutta cameo, but we shall have to wait and watch to see how the remaining cast plays along.

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  • Dialogues have been the soul of Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s powerful and engulfing performances and given the genre of the film, the screenplay has been wisely setup. Ranging from cheeky to bold, the dialogues explore almost every attribute that keeps the common man glued to the screen. The quality of direction looks profound as most scenes look well covered and complete. Whether it be the heated up intimate scenes or the ones where Nawazuddin just enjoys shooting people, the film is expected to be well put together.

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  • The story line of the film looks ordinary as the trailer hints at a discrete combination of power, romance and revenge. The makers keep in mind the ethnicity and background of the film which puts this gangster flick in the background of a rural India to add to the spontaneity and rudimentary attitude of the characters involved. The trailer promises no shortage of desi action and bloodshed as the film looks to dwell on the darker side of its characters.

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  •  The background score plays along with the action and romance as once again the rural background forces a contrasting soundtrack. On one hand, the opening scene tunes us to a Lata Mangeshkar classic the following scenes get a hold of the jazzy Bollywood tunes. On the whole, the music matches the tone of the film, making it almost impossible up to mess up.

Summing up my analysis, Babumoshai Banddokbaaz is definitely what people could prefer over the Siddhart-Jacqueline starrer, A Gentleman. The trailer raises hopes and I sincerely wish the film does not crash them.

Sunil Shetty’s comeback is my cheering point in A Gentleman’s trailer

Glossy stars, loud action, good to go comedy, a love story with an overdose of music and a few intimate scenes is turning to be the defining points of commercial cinema in Bollywood. With an impactful packed trailer releasing a few hours back, A Gentleman: Sundar Susheel Risky looks to be another dhoom dhadaam film in 2017.

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  • The trailer stars a lot of familiar faces (Rajit Kapoor, Supriya Pilgaonkar, Amit Mistry) with Siddharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez making the lead pair. The rumors of the film to be a sequel to Hrithik and Katrina’s 2014 commercial hit Bang Bang sends out a loud and clear message of what one can expect when we see it in theaters.

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  • The 3-minute trailer seems to get nothing right except for the intensifying action and looks quite incapable of building a meaningful 120-minute film out of this. Well, if they do, it will be a surprise and I would love it. The trailer also gives away the double role of Siddharth Malhotra which is another challenge for me, given the convincing powers as an actor he has exhibited in the past.

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  • The supporting cast looks formidable with Bollywood’s Anna (Sunil Shetty) making his comeback to mainstream cinema and I cannot wait to see the veteran outplay the kids of today. In addition to the supporting cast, the background music and the action look to be the only spices which could help enhance the taste of this otherwise bland looking dish.

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  • The makers, Raj & DK, who are known for their cult classic Go Goa Gone, take a step ahead into the action genre. Known for their light tone films, it might be interesting to see how do they shape up with the Bollywood masala action flavor. Its the quality of the films they have made that could help this gentleman be a promising and engulfing state of affairs.

Well, in the end, I do have expectations but not too high for A Gentleman. One can only have fingers crossed for this film to be Sundar, Susheel and Stylish.

Watch the trailer of A Gentleman – Sundar, Susheel, Stylish.

 

Logan is just how you wanted to bid Farewell to Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine

Starring: Hugh Jackman(Logan, X-24), Patrick Stewart(Charles Xavier/Professor X), Richard Grant(Zander Rice), Stephen Merchant(Caliban), Dafne Keen(Laura), Boyd Holbrook(Donald Pierce)

Director: Marco Beltrami

Music: James Mangold

Logan was always going to be hard for those who have loved Hugh Jackman in the Wolverine outfit. The 100 seconds trailer projected an old and spent Wolverine accompanied by the ailing Professor, Charles Xavier. In his final portrayal as the Wolverine, Hugh Jackman tries hard to keep up his game but manages to make his final bout a memorable one.

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Similar to other Wolverine films, Logan kicks off with a tone of monotony and depression, showcasing a beast in pain and agony after all his friends and fellow mutants have perished. The film in many ways is different from other X-men or for that matter, even Wolverine films. X-Men series have been loved over the years for their multiple mutant characters and links with which one can associate across the whole film series. Both these characteristics go missing in Logan.

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In these days of despair Logan and Charles come across another scientifically carved mutant, Laura, who astonishingly bares resemblance to the protagonist of this journey. In their attempt to safeguard Laura, another product of the Transigen program, Charles and Logan come up against Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant), the current head of the Transigen program and his security aide Donald Pierce(Boyd Holbrook). To be honest, none of them, either Zander or Donald pose a threat to the Wolverine as they fall below the expectations of a formidable negative character which one would expect the Wolverine to crush before his fall.

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As we move ahead on the route, Logan gives some brilliantly directed action scenes that see Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen take the cake. With a peep into the future  X-men , director Marco Beltrami organizes his script well that at all points revolves around Logan and the last laps of his journey Besides the high voltage action the film capitalizes on the emotional bonding between the characters as we see the last of the remaining X-Men bite the dust.

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In its 140 minute long run, the film tries to shift focus from Hugh Jackman, but in the end Logan’s soul stays with the Wolverine. The on screen performances are good enough to support the cause as Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen who steal the show even in the acting department. As the film goes onto live only on Jackman nostalgia, action, momentary comedy and emotion, some noticeable background scores or music composition would have really been the icing to the cake. Sadly, James Mangold’smusic seems to be missing from the film as the Wolverine fights his Transigen created replica.

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If something other than Wolverine, Logan seems to be the bridge between the last race and the next generation of X-Men to come. AS the journey breaks on its last station its indeed a sad moment for Wolverine fans but simultaneously the film is the best way to end this remarkable superhero character that has entertained us for the 9th time as the Wovlerine. To sum up, Logan is the best way to treat yourself this weekend and if you are a X-Men fan then there should be no reason to not watch Logan.

The Cinema Station’s Rating: Second AC Journey

 

 

Dear Zindagi: A Refreshing Journey that takes Time to Settle In

Starring: Alia Bhatt (Kaira), Shah Rukh Khan as (Dr. Jehangir Khan), Ira Dubey (Fatima), Yashaswini Dayama (Jackie), Rohit Saraf (Kido), Kunal Kapoor (Raghuvendra), Ali Zafar (Rumi)

Director: Gauri Shinde

Music: Amit Trivedi

The Cinema Stations’s Rating: Second AC Journey (3.5/5)

Gauri Shinde’s story, Sharukh Khan’s brand and Alia’s refreshment were supposed to be the highlights of Dear Zindagi. Trailers showcased a disturbed Alia Bhatt taking life lessons from a cool and casual Shahrukh Khan giving away much of the plot and promised another enjoyable and casual splash in the pool of life; just like Gauri Shinde’s previous, English Vinglish.

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Very similar to her Sridevi starrer debut, Gauri Shinde once again magnifies upon the complications and insecurities in a female’s life. The film picks off introducing a quirky, mercurial and adorable Alia Bhatt, playing a professional cinematographer and looking for a path breaking opportunity in her unrewarding career. Surrounded by a group of friends and a string of failed relationships behind her, Kaira is often seen confused, delusional and distorted in the first half. After some mature performances in Highway, Udta Punjab and 2 States, Alia seems unsteady and fretful in her new cool cinematographer avatar.

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The journey picks up with some momentum, but the stations it threads through in the first half are unorganized, bland and out of place. Dialogues, music and acting skills are all unmeasured and an irritatingly monotonous first half puts Gauri Shinde’s magnanimous potential into question. The entry of Shahrukh Khan brings some sigh of relief as the conversations, dialogues and scenes tend to get a bit edible and giggly. At the half time mark all what one can expect is a magic in the half to follow.

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The second half ignites with all the fuel possible. The jokes, life lessons, sobs and family differences all come in rumbling into the story as you finally get to see the film offer some matter. The second half gets better with every frame. Alia Bhatt and Shahrukh’s acting experience and chemistry adds an entertaining flavour in what could have been a dull piece of cinema.

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Gauri Shinde once again nurtures an idea which is common in the society but never explored. Her direction skills definitely take a dip from her debut as her film heavily relies on star power and fresh faces being introduced every now and then in the form of Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar and Angad Bedi, failing to make an impression. The second half lives above my expectations and makes up for the disappointing first half to ensure a formidable and entertaining film.

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Given the first half, Dear Zindagi ends on a surprisingly refreshing note. A rail ride that may not have given you the best of the starts but gives you some memorable stations, scenes and journey companions to enjoy the ride. Dear Zindagi is not only for the youth, but also a much needed therapy session for the Indian parents and working adults.

 

 

 

 

Force 2 Review: John Smashes, Sonakshi Bashes as the Film goes to Ashes

Starring: John Abraham (ACP Yashvardhan), Sonakshi Sinha (Kamaljit Kaur), Tahir Raj Bhasin (Shiv Sharma/Rudra Pratap Singh), Narendra Jha (Anjan)

Director: Abhinay Deo

Producer: Vipul Amrutlal Shah

The Cinema Stations’s Rating: Third AC Journey- half Confirmed + Half RAC (2.5/5)

In 2011 as college kids, the cop thriller, Force, had us jumping by the edge of our seats, whistling and hooting to the bad ass dialogues, John Abraham action scenes, the well-built villain-Vidyut Jamwal and the adorable Genelia D’Souza Deshmukh; basically all what the film had to offer. The sequel was expected to be a big movie and being a Bollywood lover, Force 2 was set to have a very standard, tried and tested recipe.

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A journey that you have taken repeatedly over the last years, a vacation that your parents always force you to take; Force 2 is that experience for a Bollywood regular. Shuttling cross Budapest and Mumbai the film picks off from where it had left. John Abraham has still not gotten over his wife’s demise and is shocked to see another of his beloved friends being killed in action. A delusional John, struck with anger and grief marches into RAW’s office and dictates the RAW chief to allow John to investigate his friend’s death;Surprising! It is here that Mr. Abraham encounters the over smart and male bashing RAW agent, Sonakshi Sinha.

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A head strong Mumbai cop and a stubborn RAW agent manage to put up an intense first half. Balanced chemistry, well directed chase sequences, thankfully no songs and a cheeky villain in place of a ruthless one, build up your dream of a ravishing action thriller. The film is just like a perfect Second AC journey in the first half. Well cleaned beds and coaches, great meal, gullible company; everything you would want from a train ride. Director Abhinay Deo picks out a leaf from his classic, Delhi Belly to give the audiences a lot to cheer about in his film’s first half. After an audacious first half, the second half picks up with the similar intensity and pace.

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As we move ahead in our journey, slowly and gradually we see all what has bee going wrong with Bollywood action thrillers. What was a brilliant story with a lot of breath taking action, all of a sudden becomes a tasteless meal. Momentary comedy is a necessity in serious films and it needs to be transitioned naturally in the script. Force 2 heavily compromises it’s story flow with some uncomfortable comedy scenes. There are points when it seems even the lead actors were not aware that they had to pass on a giggle for the camera.

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It was not like the prequel was a great film, but was carved with sensible logic, emotion and drama. Force 2 seems to gravely miss out on the logic quotient a script needs. As events keep unfolding at their own pace, you are forced to question the intellect of the writers.

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John and Sonakshi do a decent job and mange to keep this journey interesting as much as possible. However the writers fail them. Force introduced an amazing negative character of Vidyut Jamwal who made us fall in love with his built and merciless moves as a villain. Tahir Raj Bhasin, after a stunning performance in Mardaani finds himself in huge boots to fill. He is cheeky, bold, emotionally driven and goes down too easily lacking the fierceness of Jamwal.

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Summing up, Force 2 is only fine to watch if you really want to go for a Bollywood film this week. The never ending list of flaws it inherits from previous Bollywood action thrillers make it another average film in the lot. Force 2 offers nothing new and is just another John Abraham portrait encouraging you to hit the gym.

When Kids took the Lead in Bollywood Films

Kids have had the opportunity to produce some amazing cinema in Bollywood. Whether it be emotion, drama or action, the toddlers of the industry are not much behind any of our superstars. Today on the occasion of Children’s Day, the Cinema Station rolls out its list of the 10 select films which had the toddlers leading the show on the silver screen.

Chachi 420

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Taare Zameen par

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Rockford

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Bhootnath

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Koi Mil gaya

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Stanley ka Dabba

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Mr. India

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Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke

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I am Kalam

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Rock On 2: Magik’s Return is Your Refreshment for the Week

 

Starring: Shraddha Kapoor (Jiah Sharma), Farhan Akhtar (Aditya Shroff), Arjun Rampal (Joseph “Joe” Mascarenhas), Purab Kohli (Kedar Zaveri/Killer Drummer),  Shashank Arora (Uday), Prachi Desai (Sakshi Shroff), Shahana Goswami (Debbie Mascarenhas), Kumud Mishra (Pandat Vibhutinath)

Director: Shujaat Saudagar

Music: Shankar Ehsaan Loy

Cinematography: Marc Koninckx

A cult film that redefined the musical genre in Bollywood with its amazing tunes, deep and meaningful lyrics and a perfectly etched story, Rock On was the next big thing when it hit the theatres in 2008. It gave the crowd something new and an amazing look to the way musical films and bands could be portrayed in Bollywood. The much awaited sequel and its trailer had people caught up with the voice of Shraddha Kapoor and the idea of Magik returning to ation.

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No matter what your reason be, Indian train journeys hardly take time to escalate the fun and fenzy. Rock On 2 had the excitement levels set to that of a perfect family vacation with all imaginable enjoyments and excitements. The movie kicks off with Purab Kohli narrating the current lives of the super rock stars of 2008. The introduction, the follow up, the Aditys Shroff poetry, the songs and the story, all roll down well in the first half. As we pass the stations of acting, music, cinematography, story writing, everything seems well balanced and in proportion.

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As we near the half way mark, the audience gets a clearer image of the current situation and chain of events in the film, which is again something well-presented given the experience of Shujaat Saudagar on the silver screen. The first half pumps in some cool songs that skip a beat, but more importantly lines up for another Magikal finish.

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Acting performances are good and keep you plugged in as the events unfold. The sequel sees the spotlight shift from Arjun Rampal to Purab Kohli who handles it quite well and the introduction of Shraddha Kapoor paired opposite Farhan Akhtar, which ends up being a well-balanced equation on the acting front.

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Screenplay is intense, dominating and captivating, especially when the focus goes on to the Magik members. Brilliant camera work by Marc Koninckx adds a star to the rating. Locations shuffle between Mumbai and Meghalaya which add to the beauty of this portrait.

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The transition into the second half is smooth. Mr. Director does not disturb his train coaches as they move in harmony. However, twenty minutes into the second half you see a lot of scenes burdened with unnecessary drama and overacting appearing out of nowhere. To worsen the situation, this drama continues till the very last scenes and needlessly keeps piling up. The people had already seen enough drama on the news channels this week and Rock On 2 does not help with this overweight drama in the script. This is where Shujaat Saudagar’s inexperience and Abhishek Kapoor’s script is left vulnerable to criticism.

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Rock On 2 makes sure it flawlessly highlights the transition and changes in the life of all the characters that have taken place since the prequel. Music from Magik is still breathtaking or may have just matured to a new level. The voice of Farhan and Shraddha tweaked with the composition of Shankar Ehaaan and Loy gives you the possible return you were probably expecting. So despite the drama and a couple of hiccups in the script, Rock On 2 is the refreshment break you need after a politically tormenting week. Yes, and the theatres are not accepting your 500’s and 1000’s currency.

My Rating: AC 3 Tier (3.5/5)

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