Tag Archives: fun

It’s not just Akshay Kumar, but the female characters in the satirical dark comedy drama, Jolly LLB 2, were also applauded.

It’s not just Akshay Kumar, but the female characters in the satirical dark comedy drama, Jolly LLB 2, were also applauded.

One such character was the wonderfully-nuanced cameo by SayaniGupta, who played Hina Siddiqui, a young Muslim woman driven to despair.  It’s a small but pivotal and deeply impactful role, so much so that Sayani was lauded for her performance by some of the veterans from the industry. Twitterati in large numbers also poured their love for her.

Gupta has so far been doing a balancing act between commercial and art cinema. She has received critical acclaim for her offbeat and distinctive roles in films like her debut Margarita With A Straw (played the role of Kalki’s love interest)and most recently Fan (as Shah Rukh Khan’s secretary), however, Sayani doesn’t take compliments or criticism seriously.

“I have never sat down to ponder over what others have to say because ultimately you know what you have done. Piyush Mishra (theatre and film actor, NSD alumni) called me few days back when I was shooting for Jagga Jasoos, and said while referring to Jolly LLB 2, ‘I didn’t know you acted so well.’  Lot of people are complimenting me on social media as well. Somebody told me that they went to watch the film thrice because of me. There are lot of people who said I made them feel for the part and I made them cry,” says Sayani.


She continues, “My performance really moved my mother, and she is far too detached about the industry and not at all excited about the film world or what I am doing. She is not in favour of me acting and it was quite a struggle to convince her when I went to FTII (Film and Television Institute of India). Little by little, she is coming to terms with it but she would have rather seen me as an IAS officer or in a regular job.”

“We are from middle class family and they didn’t want their only daughter to get into films. Obviously there are certain perceptions about the film industry. My close friends never say nice things, they are always critiquing my work, but finally they felt that I was brilliant in Jolly LLB 2.”

Strangely enough, Sayani has been getting offers for horror movies for last few years and she, too, fails to understand the reason for it. “Maybe they think I am a Bengali, I have big eyes…” she laughs.

While Sayani so far has rejected two offers post Jolly LLB 2 (as  she is “choosy”, “instinctive”, “and not ready for it”), she is certainly excited about her first international project, The Hungry, which is an Indo-British production starring Naseeruddin Shah and Tisca Chopra. The film, for which the actors were very selectively chosen, is directed by debutante filmmaker Bornila Chatterjee, who is an alumnus from New York’s Tisch School of the Arts. The Hungry is an adaptation of William Shakespeare tragedy Titus Androcinus, which is believed to have been written between 1588 and 1593.

“This year marks the 400th death anniversary of Shakespeare. His stories could seem a tad hyper-real for this era, but this film is a realistic take. The script won at a collaborative cine-lab,” says Sayani, further adding, “The film has a bunch of deadly actors. We shot for it in Delhi and Agra. The ambience on set was stimulating and since we all got along so well, it turned out to be a great shoot.”

Recently, Sayani earned an honourable mention for the Best Actress award for her short film, Leeches, at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles  (IFFLA). In just two years of her career, she’s also bagged one of the lead roles opposite Naseeruddin Shah with The Hungry. The actress considers it her privilege to act alongside ‘Naseer’, who was her teacher at the FTII.

“Naseer was very excited about his role after decades. He plays my father. He has been my teacher and lot of my understanding about acting and the craft is because of him. It was almost like reassurance of sorts when he would come to take our class. I adore him as a human being. He is fun to be around. He has always taught us how acting is all about reacting. He is a keen listener, which adds to the performance,” she says, adding:

“There are two of the coolest men I have worked with – Shah Rukh Khan and Naseeruddin Shah. They are sensitive, they are aware, they don’t take themselves too seriously. They are normal dudes.”

So did Sayani take any advice from the two “coolest” men?

“Some of the things Naseer told me is: ‘Learn your lines till you bump into a furniture. Know your lines backwards. Study the script well. Be relaxed and don’t take things too seriously. Make it fun and light.’ On the other hand, there’s much to learn just by the way Shah Rukh carries himself. He is the most technically sound actor, I feel. His understanding, the cleanliness with which he does everything, his craft is solid. He doesn’t show it. He is persistently hardworking and also the humility. He doesn’t take his stardom seriously,” she reveals.

Two of Sayani’s “friends” from the industry are the erstwhile directors – Rajkumar Hirani and Vishal Bhardwaj. She may not have offers from them yet but she certainly takes their advice. “I don’t talk work with them. Hirani often tells me that I should give people time after they have seen my film. I did audition for a part in Rangoon but Vishal told me that it won’t be good enough for me. I would never ask them to cast me because that could hamper our relationship. Whenever they want to cast me, they will.”

Sayani is currently shooting for Ranbir Kapoor-Katrina Kaif- starrer Jagga Jasoos which has been in the making for a long time. “When I signed the film I was playing the only narrator in the film. I had a separate track of my own. But since there is no script — Dada (Director Anurag Basu) doesn’t work with scripts, he writes as he goes along — my role has changed. I will know what my part is only after I see the film. Also, it is a very difficult film when it comes to format. It is musical, it’s a children’s film, and it is not a normal narrative. I play a 14-year-old girl and that is all I know (laughs),” she says.

Happy Bhag Jayegi star cast share fun facts about each other and play The Firstpost Show Funny Face Off

Talented, smart, beautiful and funny, the entire star cast of the upcoming movie Happy Bhag Jayegi: Abhay Deol, Diana Penty, Ali Fazal and Jimmy Shergill was on The Firstpost Show were they spoke about fun facts they found about each other during the course of the making of the movie, advice they received while entering the industry and played a few rounds of The Firstpost Show funny face off.

Happy Bhag Jayegi

Here are a few snippets from the show:

Tell us a fun fact that you found about the person sitting next to you during the course of the making of the movie:

Abhay Deol about Diana Penty: “She’s more like me than I imagined. We are very similar and that was a very pleasant surprise.”

Diana Penty about Ali Fazal: “I found out fairly recently that he plays the guitar, he sings and he dances really well.”

Ali Fazal about Jimmy Shergill: “He’s a lovely singer, closet singer.”

After discussing fun facts about each other, they went on to tell us the most fun advice they received while entering the industry and played super fun rounds of The Firstpost Show Face Off. To know what are the advices each one of them got and to find out how they performed in Funny Face Off, watch the full episode right here.

Pyaar ka Punchnama 2 review: Lovestruck men, bimbettes and silliness amount to light-hearted fun

In Pyaar ka Punchnama 2, the Hindi word for a man in love is ch$@#ya. As someone puts it succinctly in the film, “kuch ch$@#ye auraton ka ch$@#yapa sokhne ke liye istemaal karten hai.”

While in its first edition, 2011’s sleeper hit Pyaar Ka Punchnama, the man in love was the dog or the substitute ‘good friend’ who cried, Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 has made some progress. This time, he doesn’t cry. Instead he shops, paints nails, sets up matrimonial profiles for his girlfried, says “I love you”, is a yes man and wags his horny tail. And so the peppy theme song continues: “Ban gaya kutta…

In the writer/director, Luv Ranjan’s world, the ch$@#ya is the Frustrated, Used Boyfriend (FUB). If the popular and hilarious five-minute monologue in the first Pyaar ka Punchnama depicted the level of male frustration, the eight-minute monologue in the second bursts out of the Indian male waiting to bash the female. And yes, it’s funny in some parts. But way too one sided — like a half fried egg, dripping all over the faces of pretty women.

Basically, the concept is just another version of the marriage jokes that we’ve all heard a hundred times over. There is one thing thread running through all the punchlines: the joke is on the women. PKP2  uses this well in the context of today’s youth and relationships. The fundamental misogynist principle remains the same.

Pyaar Ka Punchnama. Screengrab from YouTube

For instance, the monologue of frustration starts with, “Problem yeh hai ki woh ladki hai.” Gogo (Kartik Aryan) launches into the hate speech for which the audience has been eagerly waiting since Pyaar ka Punchnama. His back literally against a wall — it has on it a sign that reads “Dead End” — Gogo raves, rants and holds up the baton for Team FUB. Well done, boys (aka the writers Rahul Modi, Tarun Jain and Luv Ranjan). Only, are these ‘problems’ really real? It seems that the monologue had more truth than the script that supports the hate speech.

So, yes Gogo, Chauka (Sunny Singh) and Thakur (Omkar Kapoor) find girlfriends and lose their peace of mind. Chiku (Nushrat  Bharucha), Supriya (Sonali Sehgali) and Kusum (Ishita Raj) are women and of course, no one understands women. So why even bother? Let them just do illogical things since they’re from Venus.

So Boy 1 (Thakur) meets Girl 1 (Kusum) in a gym. She squats; he stares at her derriere; they end up in the girl’s bedroom. Here, the boy says something about the girl being from the ’70s. Then, he promptly puts on a cassette player (belonging to the ’70s) and the two of them do some exotic dancing for each other. Soon enough, the boy is wearing a Tshirt that says: ”In the end, it’s all about s*x.” Point taken. He’s a clever Engineer who can prove his prowess in the boardroom and the bedroom, while Girl 1 only shakes her booty, earns less than him and eyes his gold card.

Boy 2 (Gogo) meets Girl 2 (Chiku). He goes beyond veg or non-veg jokes and instead delivers some fruit talk as pick-up lines. She giggles. Love strikes. For all his flirting, he is a really good boy who is ready to go to any extent to please his girl. She doesn’t think beyond shades of blues and pinks, talks in a baby voice and shops till he drops.

Boy 3 (Chauka) meets Girl 3 (Supriya).The two dance to “Didi tera dewar deewana” at a wedding. She lets him drop her home. Next, they are having wine in his home. Lusty glances replace conversations. Love strikes. He is the sincere sort who wants to marry the girl. She has some unexplained fears regarding her parents, but no qualms about flirting with Boy 3.

It’s that easy to fall in love.

But not that simple to sustain the relationship because women are demanding creatures and men are suckers. He’s got to love her, love her best friends, which include irritating bimbos and a childhood male buddy who sleeps in her bed. Loving her means loving her parents, who want her to marry someone else and just pretend to be her brother instead. Love is handing her your wallet when she claims to want to split the dinner bill.

The ‘problem’ is that while such women may exist in fact or fiction, it all feels rather forced, superficial and designed to play to the frustrated men in the crowd. As Pyaar ka Punchnama 2 continues, the women get dafter. Chiku doesn’t know Sachin Tendulkar has retired. Kusum gets more greedy and manipulative. Supriya becomes more and more coy.

It’s rather convenient that all the boys are simply wonderful people while the women are bimbos or bitches.

The men curse their own weakness, which is not such a ‘problem’ here. It brings out the best in the bromance scenes, both in terms of dialogues and performances. The way Sunny Singh’s Gogo says “beta..beta..beta..” while aping his girlfriend’s father, is applause worthy. So are innumerous one liners, including one on Sooraj Barjatya and his take on love, friendship and saying sorry.

Men, be ready to relate. At times. Women, be ready to hate. All the time. Hopefully, you can laugh it all off. Together.

Welcome Back review: Anil Kapoor and John Abraham are fun to watch in this silly film

Uday and Majnu are, as someone points out in Welcome Back, the Laurel and Hardy of goondas. They are, to again quote the film, “khule saand“: foolish, stubborn, ridiculous and flatter than cardboard cutouts. But here’s what may come as a surprise: they and Welcome Back are also really, truly funny.

Welcome Back is a straightforward, unabashed copy of Welcome and like the first film, this one wears its stupidity proudly on its sleeve. Just like in Welcome, Uday (Nana Patekar) again discovers he has another half-sister, Ranjana (Shruti Haasan). Majnu (Anil Kapoor) embraces her because any sister of Uday’s is a sister of his and within minutes, circumstances demand that Uday and Majnu organise a wedding for Ranjana. The reformed gangsters want her to marry a good lad from a respectable family.

Of course, nothing is simple in director Anees Bazmee’s world. As a result, Dr Ghungroo (Paresh Rawal) returns, offspring pop out of the woodwork, John Abraham loses his shirt, a mother-daughter duo of con artistes target Uday and Majnu, Shiney Ahuja suffers the ignominy of wearing a candy-pink blazer and Rajpal Yadav protects his and our modesty by wearing nothing but a transistor a la PK. Does any of Welcome Back make sense? Absolutely not. Is any of it realistic or credible? Only if you’re on a diet of nothing but hallucinogens. But who cares as long as Uday, Majnu and Ghungroo are being idiotic on screen?

Nana Patekar, Paresh Rawal, Anil Kapoor and John Abraham in Welcome Back. Image Courtesy: Facebook

Most of the film is so predictable — particularly if you’ve seen Welcome — that there’s no point recounting the plot of Welcome Back. In a nutshell: dons face dons, lovers are kept apart, cons are hatched, and hilarity ensues.

Abraham plays Ajju, a don from Mumbai. He is easy on the eye and inoffensive. Abraham doesn’t have much to do other than look good and flex his muscles from time to time so that at a critical point, Majnu can say of Ajju, “Lagta hai yeh gym mein hi paida hua tha.” (“It’s like he was born in a gym.”) Haasan, Dimple and Ankita Shrivastava all have significant roles in which they’re both flashy and forgettable.

Despite Bazmee sticking to his tried-and-tested formula, there are surprises in Welcome Back. However, fortunately, there aren’t any spoilers because no one knows what happens in the last few seconds of the film. The ending is somewhat literally up in the air.

But here are a few of the doozies that Welcome Back does serve us. Did you think there would be a situation in which you’d watch Naseeruddin Shah on screen and wish he could act more like Feroz Khan? Bazmee also throws in a scene in which Abraham gives a whole new meaning to the term “dry humping” when he leaps from camel hump to camel hump. No one could have seen that coming.

There’s a lot to love in Welcome Back if you don’t expect intelligence from the film. Like a sequence in which Uday and Majnu play antakshari with ‘ghosts’ in a graveyard (with neon tombstones, no less). You get to hear Kapoor singing “My name is Lakhan” after 26 years. There’s also a don named Wanted Bhai who gets a operatic chorus sing “Wanted Bhaaai” each time he makes an entrance. Just to bring this character home, his son’s name is Honey (played by Shiney Ahuja, which makes this role a double whammy of unfortunate names). And let’s not forget the desert chase that involves hovercrafts, skydivers, four-wheel drives, helicopters as well as a random train of camels.

Welcome Back a film that is completely aware of how stupid it is and delights in its idiocy. Bazmee also tucks in funny details for the keen-eyed, like Majnu’s art which is absolutely spectacular. We’re particularly fond of two of his paintings. One shows a horse on top of another (take that MF Husain) and the other is of the Dubai skyline.

Patekar is wonderful as the prone-to-rage Uday. He dances gleefully, packs many punches in his lines and is superb with the slapstick antics that Bazmee demands of him. Giving Patekar company are Kapoor and Rawal. What Kapoor lacks in the calibre department, the age-defying actor makes up for with energy and enthusiasm. As Majnu, Kapoor is dressed as flashily as ever (although Dimple Kapadia’s wardrobe in this film makes Majnu’s Technicolor velvet jackets seem almost sober). He doesn’t make much of an impression when he’s trying to be the menacing bhai, but he’s an excellent foil for Patekar. Rawal pops up intermittently and establishes yet again that he’s one of our most versatile comic actors.

These men are the stars of Welcome Back, but what makes them shine are the dialogues written by Raaj Shaandilyaa. This is Shaandilyaa’s first film and he makes sure everyone in Welcome Back, including extras, get lines that will bring them laughs. Some actors do justice to Shaandilyaa’s writing comedy and maintain an impressively silly tone, while some struggle. Regardless, the lines are funny enough to work despite the actors.

For instance, when a blind man gets a knock on his head and is suddenly able to see again, Uday tells Majnu that it’s pretty impressive how powerful Santoshi Maa is even in the deserts of Dubai. It helps that Patekar is the one entrusted with this line, but it would be funny no matter who said it. At another point, a gangster gives the girl he’s romancing a peck on the cheek and gets slapped. His minions explain to him, “Bhabhi ne aapko Emraan Hashmi samjha aur aap Amol Palekar nikley.” (“She expected you to be Emraan Hashmi and you ended up being Amol Palekar.”)

Unsurprisingly, after intermission, Welcome Back loses some of its steam. This is partly because Bazmee struggles to bring the film to a close and also because the director shifts focus from dialogue to stunts. The action sequences are outlandish in Welcome Back and boast of some of the worst CGI seen in recent times. It’s obvious that Bazmee has ensured the special effects are deliberately awful in the hope that they will draw laughs, but in terms of humour, they don’t hold a candle to the dialogues.

At 153 minutes, Welcome Back is just a shade too long and the ending is a sandstorm of stupidity. But you’ll forgive Bazmee and gang because for at least 120 minutes, this comedy keeps you in splits. Welcome Back might be 2015’s silliest film and this is the best reason to watch it. After all, when was the last time you came out of the cinema giggling?

Welcome Back review: It’s utter nonsense but this Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar film is good fun

There are bhais and there are bhais. The first belong to the underworld and the other, to sisters at large. Uday (Nana Patekar) and Majnu (Anil Kapoor) belong to both categories. In Welcome Back, a sequel to Welcome by the same director, we meet Uday and Majnu, miserable in their decent man acts and gentlemen suits, which, incidentally, make for quite an eye-catching wardrobe.

Eight years after Welcome, Uday and Majnu have stayed away from don-hood in Dubai, having promised their sister’s uncle-in-law, Dr Ghungroo (Paresh Rawal) that they will walk the straight and narrow. Now, as Dubai businessmen in Welcome Back, Uday and Majnu find respectability comes with baggage, sisters and con artistes.


This time, the duo find themselves saddled with one more sister — Ranjana (Shruti Hassan), daughter to Uday’s wife-hopping father (Patekar in a small double role appearance).

So Majnu struts around, shoulders tilted, wearing silver or black jackets and his trademark blue shades. Uday glares and glowers at goons while muttering “control” to himself while in his head, guns lock and load each time anyone does anything to annoy him.

In Welcome Back, Uday and Majnu’s woe is that they’re single. Even their henchmen have families, but our winsome twosome don’t have wives who will gaze at them on Karva Chauth nights. Then, both of them land up in love with the same girl, Princess Chandni (Ankita Srivastava), daughter of Maharani Padmavati (Dimple Kapadia).

However, this is no real love story. Padmavati is a con artiste who works with her daughter to snag rich men and weasel money out of them.

In case you thought this was a spoiler, all this happens within the first 40 minutes of Welcome Back, which is proof that plot is the least of Bazmee’s concerns in this film.

When 50-something and fitter-than-ever Kapoor and Patekar begin their screen time dancing to “Meet Me Daily Baby” and spend the rest of the film going round in circles, you know you are in for director Anees Bazmee’s brand of slapstick comedy.

Matching them gun for a gun, skip for a skip, silly words for sillier one, and crow for a pigeon is John Abraham as Ajju bhai. While romancing Ranjana, he does some surprisingly good jumps and moves of his own to outwit Uday and Majnu.

Our first encounter with him has him thrusting body parts to the tune of “Main Babli hui, Tu Bunty hua/ Bandh kamre mein 20-20 hua”. A rival don (a cameo by Ranjeet) says, “Yeh 20-20 khel rehein hain, inke body ka 50-50 kar do.” There follows the inevitable fight in which more of the inevitable follows — small-time baddies go flying in different directions and Ajju takes off his shirt to display a huge, sinewed back and several packs of abs.

But he’s not all muscle and no masti. Ajju has some romance scenes, in which he’s the ingenue opposite Ranjana, which suits Abraham just fine too. Haasan is a better and refreshingly sweet replacement for Katrina Kaif from Welcome.

And if that wasn’t enough, two more characters (Naseeruddin Shah and Shiney Ahuja) fly in with choppers to add to the chaos created by Hop Patekar, Skip Kapoor and Jump Abraham.

Shah is Wanted Bhai, a blind daddy of all dons who will, of course, kill for his druggie son, Honey (Ahuja). A fine mess is created with Honey being in love with Ranjana while Ranjana wants to marry Ajju while her ‘brothers’, Uday and Majnu, want Ajju dead. Oh, and Ajju happens to be Dr Ghungroo’s wife’s illegitimate son. This causes Ghungroo to call his wife “boycut hulkut” (she has short hair) and come up with devious schemes of his own.

Welcome Back gallops along, powered by lines like “Logon ki ma-behen hoti hain, aapki baap-behen ho gayi” and “Mobile uski, sim apun ka, tu beech mein missed call dene waala kaun?” A long graveyard scene is thrown in, with Kapoor breaking into his fantastic “Ae ji O ji” number, with his never tiring, super-enthusiastic grin. Thankfully, the film moves on to a quick climax point with all the actors running across sand dunes of Dubai, chased by camels.

Welcome Back kicks up a storm of utter nonsense thanks to terrific comic timing by Patekar and Kapoor. And it happens to be a welcome break from 24/7 coverage of murder, financial crashes and other serious news — purely because of the two talented actors who hop, skip, dance and fool around with complete conviction.