Review: Tezz has the thrill, but where’s the dil?

Aajkal izzat maangne se nahi milti, chheenni padti hai” (You don’t get respect by asking for it these days, you have to snatch it), says Akash Rana (Ajay Devgn) a few minutes into Priyadarshan’s new film. Before you can snap your fingers, Akash and his accomplices Adil (Zayed Khan) and Megha (Sameera Reddy) have planted a bomb on a train from London to Glasgow, and are demanding 10 million pounds to defuse it. Cut to the British railway control room, and cue series of mobile phone calls between sombre bomber Akash, train brain Sanjay Raina and top cop Arjun Khanna.
Tezz could have easily been an action-filled riff on A Wednesday: a lone man using a bomb threat to get media coverage and force the government to pay attention. And the film does spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince us that Akash is the tragic victim of evil immigration laws. But how getting a lot of money out of the British government in exchange for 500 innocent lives is going to get him ‘respect’ is never explained.
Tezz could have easily been an action-filled riff on A Wednesday: PTI
In fact there’s much that is inexplicable about Tezz. In a Bollywood world where Indians abroad  have never been shown as anything but well-off, well-settled NRIs with their dil in Hindustan, it’s interesting to finally have a Hindi film that allows for the fact that not all desi immigrants are legal, and that they want nothing more than to never have to return to India. Unfortunately, having hit upon a potentially interesting subject, Tezz is content to leave the treatment paper-thin.
Ditto for its characters. Who is Akash Rana? Where did he grow up? Why exactly does he think he can get away with not having legal status in the UK?  Why, instead of being deported all by himself, doesn’t he simply take his simpering British wife (Kangna Ranaut, with scarcely anything to do) and child and go off to India – especially if he’s an engineer? The film has no answers. Zayed Khan and Sameera Reddy’s characters get even more slender backgrounds: just a couple of over-dramatic flashbacks which are supposed to explain why they’re risking their lives to aid Devgn’s train bomb ploy. Well, they don’t.
The guys they’re up against – the British establishment, represented of course by the desi cop Arjun Khanna (Anil Kapoor), desi railway controller Sanjay Raina (Boman Irani) and yet another desi cop (Mohanlal) – don’t have it much better in terms of characterisation. Anil Kapoor, playing a feted UK police officer, doesn’t look like he’s on the verge of retirement. But since we’re told he is, it seems a trifle unbelievable that he should have to fight “you guys are all terrorists” slurs from a random white colleague at this stage of a grand career. And make no mistake, it is grand – he’s the only cop I’ve ever heard of who gets to address an all-white British Parliament. Mohanlal is completely wasted, spending the whole film stuck on the bomb-threatened train where all he gets to do is deal with intermittent outbreaks of passenger panic. Oh, that and speak in a South Indian accent to a little girl speaking in a North Indian accent, who turns out to be the daughter of Establishment Desi No. 3: Boman Irani. Irani, being the talented actor he is, manages to imbue his (equally slender) character with a semblance of teary reality. But on the whole, this is a film where characters don’t really matter.
What matters are the chase scenes, the aerial shots of the train whizzing through the British countryside, the nailbiting stunts. And by Hindi movie standards, these are really rather good. I sat rooted to my seat watching Sameera Reddy rafting dangerously over rapids with a yellow waterproof suitcase and a bike over the heads of nonplussed British cops, all the while being followed by a combination of helicopters and police cars. Zayed Khan had my favourite chase scene, doing a lot of impressive somersaulting across a series of London subways and bridges. And Devgn gets to do a micro-mini-version of a Third Man-style splash through the sewers. All rather fun, and none of them look even faintly ridiculous while they’re doing it.
There’s a great scene in Tezz where Anil Kapoor and his team think they’ve got Ajay Devgn surrounded, until they break into the farm and find a solitary cellphone sitting on a chair in an empty room, routing Devgn’s voice through it. “Maan gaye isko yaar, bahut English picture dekhta hai saala,” laughs Anil.
Same goes for Priyadarshan, clearly. I just wish this Hindi picture had a little more kahani in it.

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Movie Name : Sridhar
Cast : Sidharth, Hansika, Sruthi Haasan
Music : Rahul Raj
Lyrics : K.Gopi Bala, Viveka
Year : 2012

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Uyirin Suvarl Naane - Suraj , Saindhavi
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Life Ki Toh Lag Gayi Movie Review

Life Ki Toh Lag Gayi - Passable 

Rating: **1/2
There are certain movies for which one doesn't carry too many expectations. Due to this reason whatever little that is presented on screen and has some entertainment value to it turns out to be an added bonus. 'Life Ki Toh Lag Gayi' is one such film. Since you start on Ground Zero, it is easy to take home what is finally offered by the makers.
In that aspect, one does feel that collectively, actors like Kay Kay Menon, Ranvir Shorey and Manu Rishi can't really fail. Okay, so some even believed that Pradhuman Singh may be good enough to pull in the audience (after 'Tere Bin Laden') but one would still want to see more of him before being too hopeful about what he has to deliver in his very second outing. As for Neha Bhasin then well, one wanted to check out what she had to offer on screen in her debut outing.
Eventually, the film does turn out to be a mixed bag. It isn't one of those surprise packages in the offering that blow you away. Still, as mentioned earlier, there are points in the film where you do watch the story unfold attentively and at places even let out a chuckle or two.
Credit for many such chuckles goes to Manu Rishi who, as a cop, is natural to the core all over again. An actor who has been delivering consistently, whether in a cameo (Soundtrack) or a far more elaborate role (Ek Deewana Tha), it is a pity that most of his films haven't been commercial successes due to which his act is going unnoticed time and again. However if at all 'Life Ki Toh Lag Gayi' would be talked about for any reason, it would be for Manu who is the life of the film.
Now that's a little ironic because the film was being sold in a major way on the name of Pradhuman. The makers had a good reason to believe that since this was the second outing of Pradhuman after 'Tere Bin Laden', he would turn out to be the USP here. However things don't quite go as per the plan as this time around he goes over the top (though as per the character's demand) and since his part isn't written well, it hardly fails to attract your attention. As a rockstar who doesn't really have any plans worthy enough to be executed, he tries to help out his 'devdas' friend Ranvir Shorey. Now even though this sub-plot could have been really amusing, it works only in bits and pieces.
In a story made of various episodes that tie up towards the end (a la 'My Friend Pinto' and little known flick 'Emotional Atyachaar - The film' which had released a few months ago), this one too tries to bring in humour, pathos and thrills. This is where Kay Kay Menon fits into the proceedings who, just like 'Chalis Chauraasi', has an under developed part that borders on hamming. Now that's a pity because he is the senior-most of the lot and also the most talented if his past work is anything to go by. However an enterprise like this doesn't really do good justice to his presence in the film.
Thankfully the film isn't all about men which means a hint of glamour comes in courtesy Neha Bhasin. Okay, so she is still climbing the ladder as far as delivering a good performance on screen is concerned. Also, her part is clich�d as it brings on screen the infamous casting couch syndrome prevalent in the film industry. Still, when one looks at the other characters who are going through their own grimy situation, Neha at least brings in some light on screen.
Now how one hopes that director Rakesh Mehta had enlivened the proceedings right through the film's duration. Though one does expect a few gritty dramatic moments in the narrative, as rightly conveyed through the title, the film as a whole turns out to be a barely passable affair that could be given a watch by those who wish to encourage new filmmakers trying to make their presence felt in the industry.
Rating: **1/2


Anna University exams rescheduled

Chennai-based Anna University has rescheduled its annual exams because of 'the administrative reasons', as cited by the office of the Controller of Examinations of the university. The notice, posted on the University website on Thursday, says:
"It is informed that Theory Examinations scheduled for certain dates of May/June 2012 Examinations of Anna University pertaining to all Affiliated Colleges for the UG and PG Degree Programmes are rescheduled due to administrative reasons. The details are given below. This may please be brought to the notice of the students, staff and all concerned."
The exams scheduled for May 3, 4 and 5 have been moved to May 28, 29 and 30 respectively. Consequently, the exams scheduled to be held on May 28, 29 and 30 will now be held on June 7, 8 and 9, 2012 respectively.
Anna University exams rescheduled