ACTION JACKSON (2014)

Directed by:     Prabhu Deva

Starring:           Ajay Devgan, Sonakshi Sinha, Yami Gautam, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Manasvi Mamgai

Written By:      Prabhudeva, Shiraz Ahmed. A. C. Mughil

Language:        Hindi

Music by:         Himesh Reshammiya

Produced by:   Gordhan P TanwaniSunil Lulla

Running time:  146 minutes

BollySitter Recommended Age: 12+

BollySitter Family GO Factor: 1.0/5.0

BollySitter Says

If you must insist, the film can be watched by 12+ year-olds but is full of stylized violence, gore and includes some scenes brimming with sexual energy too. Adults could watch it if they leave their brains (& kids) at home and don’t mind masala escapist cinema at its best (or worst for some!)

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Content

Action Jackson is an absurd action comedy that is mainly a star vehicle for Ajay Devgan, and for Prabhu Deva who goes all out to show off the latest borrowed-from-Hollywood special FX for the action sequences.  The film is essentially action scenes and songs put together in random order to fill up a feature length film. The film is a revenge action drama in which the main lead, who worked for underworld don eventually turns tables against him.

Violence 

The film is full of violent scenes including endless killings & shootings with guns; plenty of blood and dead bodies are shown. Some of it is highly stylized, however, other sequences border on gore. There are realistic fight sequences shown with knives and swords ala Tarantino and Rodriguez. Bottles are broken on people’s head, plenty of people get stabbed & sliced and take this, toothpicks are used as a weapon for mass destruction, no less.  Two friends are even shown slapping each other often, just for you know, fun! It doubles as a “slap”-stick comedy too!

Intense & Frightening scenes

There are numerous frightening scenes involving chases, screams & loud background music. There are scenes involving car blasts & fire that are intense.  The film is basically a feature length intense action sequences broken by random comic (apparently) sequences and foot-tapping (seemingly) numbers to give some respite to the audience from the high kinetic energy.

Sexuality 

There is some crass sexual behavior shown where one of the girls thinks her luck changes for better if she sees her man naked. The villain’s sister lives a heavily sexualized existence and wants a man desperately. There are many scenes of seduction and making out though no kissing or sex is shown. One of the female characters is shown backless in one of the scenes and wearing a skimpy two piece bikini in some others.

Language 

Language is surprisingly mild with only minor cuss words like Harami and Kutta being used.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are many scenes of drinking and smoking shown throughout the film. In one scene a serving of coffee is drugged and consumed.

Discussion Points

One of the leads is shown in a Robinhood-esque role of a large hearted goon! Other than this, the film is just an escapist cinema which leaves your mind as soon you leave the cinema hall!  Parents, if you do end up watching the film, how about using this film as a way to teach kids and your other friends about lack of quality is a masala film like this.  Such mindless films are made all too often in Indian cinema and lapped up by audience who make it a blockbuster. You can discuss the lack of any message, cinematic quality or art in a film like this and suggest alternate films that should get more attention and recognition. If educated audience such as ourselves don’t reject such films, these films will continue to get made. There are many other films that are also escapist, masala & offer wholesome family entertainment which are well made with a lot of effort put in the art & craft of cinematic storytelling.

Bechdel test 0/3

Movie does have three main female characters but they don’t interact with each other at all.

For the quality of the film, check out the reviews on http://thereviewmonk.com/movie/action-jackson/

BollySitter Recommends: ANJALI (1990)

BollySitter Recommended Age:         10+ (For mature emotional drama & theme of terminal illness)

BollySitter Family GO Factor:           4.0/5.0

 

Directed by:    Mani Ratnam

Starring:          Raghuvaran, Revathi, Shamili, Prabhu, Saranya Ponvannan, Tarun Vishnuvardhan

Written By:    Mani Ratnam

Language:       Tamil (dubbed in Hindi)

Music by:        Ilaiyaraaja

Produced by:   G. Venkateswaran, Nitin Manmohan

Lyrics by:        Vaali

Running time: 150 mins

Genre(s):         Family Drama

Anjali

SYNOPSIS

Dubbed in Hindi from Tamil, Anjali is a family drama about a married couple and their two children who live together in South India. Their third child, Anjali, is however born with a terminal disease.

The ailment is brought to the attention of the husband at the local hospital, and together, the hospital authorities and the husband collude to keep the child’s disease a secret from the mother. Their neighbors advocate the expulsion of the mentally-affected child from the colony as it is affecting other children. The film explores why the husband did what he did, how the family, including the two other children come to accept the child into their lives, how she is cared for, and whether they finally are ready to let her go. The film ultimately deals with the emotional trauma experienced by the family.

WHY WATCH?

Anjali is an emotional family drama which is packaged well with good writing, good acting and some entertaining songs as well.

The film promotes embracing the diversity around you. Through Anjali, a lot of neglected and misunderstood residents of the colony forge a bond with each other. The theme of compassion is prevalent throughout the film. Initially the normal kids are shown to dislike the mentally-challenged Anjali.

The mother and child are key characters in the film and it revolves around their relationship offering us rare female protagonists within an Indian film context.

A WORD OF CAUTION

The film is clean in terms of sexuality, language and smoking/drinking. However, there are some violent scenes and more importantly there are many intense scenes that are emotional and at times quite frightening. There are a few street fights shown in which the local goons create nuisance. The neighborhood kids also get into fights and altercations with each other. There is a murder shown after a long physical fight and another scene shows the protagonist is a witness to a murder scene.

One of the song sequences is scary with a mention of ghosts. There are intense scenes in the hospital where the kid is admitted during the final stages of terminal illness. In the beginning of the film, a stillbirth is depicted. The mentally challenged child is show hitting her mother   Neighbors are shown speaking in very angry tones with each other and with Anjali’s family.  Often the background music in emotional and a fight scene is very loud and intense. There is a scene where the mother packs her bags & threatens to walk out the house.

Kids watching the film may ask questions about terminal illness and about dealing with the death of a young child. The lead couple in the film also deals with infidelity and a potential divorce which could be very curious topics for younger kids.

The father is shown to lie in order to protect his family from any emotional trauma. The neighbors do not wish to interact with the family of a mentally-challenged child.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Anjali is a gut-wrenching emotional drama as one expects from a Mani Ratnam film. The film is appropriate for viewing with kids in the 10+ age group due to the mature emotional drama and theme of terminal illness. BollySitter gives Anjali a “GO” rating of 4.0/5.0.

HAPPY ENDING (2014)

BollySitter Recommended Age:         12+ (For adult language and sexuality)

BollySitter Family GO Factor:           2.0/5.0

The Review Monk TRM Score:          5.3/10.0

 

Directed by:    Raj Nidimoru & Krishna D.K.

Starring:          Saif Ali Khan Ileana D’Cruz Govinda, Kalki Koechlin, Ranvir Shorey

Written By:     Raj Nidimoru, Krishna D.K. Sita Menon

Language:       Hindi

Music by:        Sachin-Jigar

Produced by:   Saif Ali Khan, Dinesh Vijan, Sunil Lulla

Lyrics by:        Amitabh Bhattacharya

Running time: 137 mins

Genre(s):         Comedy, Romance

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BollySitter says

HAPPY ENDING is a romantic comedy set in Los Angeles that tells the story of a philandering author who has only written one book in his entire career and who falls in love with another author. The film is NOT recommended for kids under 12 years of age due to inappropriate and adult language, sexual situations and innuendos throughout.

Content

HAPPY ENDING tells the story of a “commitment-shy one-hit wonder” author struggling to make his ends meet. Much against his wishes, he falls for a fellow female author, only to realize that her views on love and commitment are the same as what they used to be for him before he fell in love. Despite being a rom-com overall, the film comes off more as a series of well-shot sequences, with a few laughs, some witty dialogues and plenty of frank and sexual conversations and situations.

Violence 

There is no violence in the film.

Intense & Frightening scenes

There are no intense or frightening scenes in the film.

Sexuality

A couple is shown having sex multiple times. Although there is no explicit nudity, the lead-ups to the scenes involve sexual conversations. A couple is shown playing cards and taking turns to strip, depending upon who wins each round. A couple is shown stripping on the highway in order to hitchhike a ride. A married couple is shown arguing about how infrequently they have sex and how the wife could have gotten pregnant. Two guys break into a girl’s apartment and have a lewd discussion around her undergarments. Two guys have frank conversations about their sex lives. A song features scantily clad girls dancing in the background. A boy forcibly attempts to check out a hidden tattoo by pulling one of his former girlfriends’ shorts. Two guys are shown having drinks at a strip club with scantily dressed women in the background.

Language 

There is a liberal usage of inappropriate words and adult language throughout the film, including words like “f***”, “a**hole” “b**ch”, “screwed”, “shit”, “behanc***d” and “bastard”. A popular party song has risqué and double meaning lyrics. It is hard to overlook the usage of such language in a mainstream Bollywood film, thereby making it unsuitable for younger kids.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are multiple drinking scenes in the movie. Couples are shown drinking wine on regular basis. Two guys are shown drinking heavily in bars and eventually passing out, throwing up or waking up with a hangover. Smoking is shown intermittently in the background although none of the lead characters are shown smoking themselves.

Attitude/Behavior

The movie is about an author who does not wish to work despite his bleak financial situation and is afraid of getting into any serious relationship with a woman. Women are discussed as being harsh, non-understanding and difficult to deal with, throughout the film. Drinking excessively, lying and having relationships with multiple partners is also assumed to be an acceptable behavior.

Discussion points

This is a romantic comedy meant for adults, with no positive takeaways that can be discussed with kids.

Bechdel Test = 0/3

There are plenty of female characters in the film but none of them have any conversation with each other.

For the quality of the film, check out the reviews @ http://thereviewmonk.com/movie/happy-ending/

KILL/DIL (2014)

BollySitter Recommended Age:           12+ (For sensuality and violence)

BollySitter Family GO Factor: 2.5/5.0

The Review Monk TRM Score:           4.5/10.0

 

Directed by:     Shaad Ali

Starring:           Govinda, Ranveer Singh, Ali Zafar and Parineeti Chopra

Written By:      Nitesh Tiwari, Shreyas Jain and Nikhil Mehrotra

Language:        Hindi

Music by:         Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Produced by:   Yash Raj Films

Lyrics by:        Gulzar

Running time:  127 mins

Genre(s):          Romance, Action

 

BollySitter says

From the promos and the talented team associated with Kill/Dil, it promised to be a madcap thriller comedy. Unfortunately the film has a weak story and poor execution, it does have some saving grace in terms of smart dialogues and very well executed songs, but as an entire package Kill/Dil disappoints big time. There is  little in the film for a family viewing.

Content

Set in North Indian hinterland – Kill/Dil is a story of two contract shooters Ranveer Singh and Ali Zafar who were abandoned when young and vulnerable. They were raised by a professional contract to hire Govinda who nurtured them to kill. All is normal in their lives until destiny throws free-spirited Parineeti Chopra into the mix. The film is a game of defiance, deception and love of these four characters.

Violence 

The film is about lives of two contract shooters who work as hitmen, there are some liberal doses of action sequences throughout the film. There are few scenes of shooting people dead from a close range; blood and dead bodies are shown.

Intense & Frightening scenes

There are a few scenes showing mass shootout, killing on the street, attacking random people to complete the killing task. There are scenes of execution by surprising and catching victims unexpectedly. Many intense scenes are accompanied by frightening music, which might frighten the young children.

Sexuality 

Apart from a mildly erotic kissing scene, there is no overt sexuality in the film. In one sequence it is implied that a couple have had sex. They are shown afterwards in a bed covered with sheets, no nudity is shown.

Language

Apart from Harami(Bastard) and Kutta(Dog) no hard curse words are used.  But, characters are shouting and using threatening language to intimidate people throughout the film.

kill dil

Drinking, drugs, & smoking 

Various characters are shown consuming alcohol throughout the movie.

Attitude/Behavior

The life of two contract shooters is the basic premise of the film, and they are the protagonists of the film. One character has a change of heart and decides to self-rehabilitate after he falls in love.  The free spirited female lead is shown to be working as a social worker who works to rehabilitates criminals.

Discussion points

The film offers few points worthy of discussion due to the premise of the story. Parents can talk to kids about how love and social fabrics can help rehabilitate criminals in the society and how society can shed the taboo to accept them as reform human beings.

Bechdel test 0/3

There is only one female character in the film; her character is etched out nicely, she is shown to be progressive and free spirited.

For the quality of the film, check out the reviews @

http://thereviewmonk.com/movie/kill-dil/

 

 

RANG RASIYA ( 2014 )

BollySitter Recommended Age:   17+
BollySitter Family GO Factor:       2.5/5.0
The Review Monk TRM Score:  6.1 /10.0
Directed by       Ketan Mehta

Produced by     Deepa Sahi, Aanand Mahendroo, Ketan Mehta

Written by         Sanjeev Dutta Ketan Mehta

Starring             Randeep Hooda, Nandana Sen, Feryna Wazheir, Triptha Parashar

Music by           Sandesh Shandilya

Language          Hindi

Lyrics by:        Manoj Muntashir

Running time: 115 Minutes

Genre(s):        Social Drama, Biography, Romance, Independent

 

BollySitter says
Rang Rasiya is more than just a biopic/period film – a sheer delight for the independent/art cinema connoisseurs.  However, there is not much in the film for children or for a family watch scenario unless you have budding & mature art and cinema buffs in your family. The sexuality is quite explicit in a few scenes though the film is quite clean in terms of language and violence.

It is a colorful triumph of a film that critiques censorship, social norms, religious dogmatism and commercialization of art complete with a self-referential nod to the birth of Indian Cinema about 100 years ago. It’s well written and performed, however, it suffers from poor detailing of the milieu and lazy dialogues in addition to often cringe-worthy background music.

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Content

Ravi Varma who is married to a princess, is more interested in painting than leading a practical life. He faces rejection and becomes a rebel. His paintings and their style leads to trouble and he leaves home for Bombay. The film follows Raja Ravi Varma’s growth from a rebel youth to a great artist and early inspiration for the artists’ freedom of expression  in India.

For the quality of the film, check out the reviews @ http://thereviewmonk.com/movie/rang-rasiya/

 

THE SHAUKEENS (2014)

BollySitter Recommended Age:         15+

BollySitter Family GO Factor:           1.5/5.0

The Review Monk TRM Score:          4.9/10.0

Directed by:    Abhishek Sharma

Starring:          Anupam Kher, Annu Kapoor, Piyush Mishra, Lisa Haydon, Akshay Kumar, Rati Agnihotri

Written By:     Tigmanshu Dhulia, Sai Kabir

Language:       Hindi

Music by:        Yo Yo Honey Singh, Hard Kaur, Vikram Nagi, Arko Mukherjee

Produced by:   Akshay Kumar, Ashvin Varde

Running time: 124 mins.

Genre(s):         Comedy

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BollySitter says

THE SHAUKEENS is a loose adaptation of the 1982 Bollywood film, “Shaukeen” and is not recommended for children under 15 years of age due to sexuality, adult language and sexual innuendos. The film tells the story of three elderly men who take a vacation to Mauritius in an effort to fulfill their sexual fantasies.

Content

THE SHAUKEENS depicts the story of three lecherous old friends who go to Mauritius in search of a sexual rendezvous. How the lustful three come to terms with reality, with the help of their beautiful host and the female lead of the film, forms the crux of the story. The film is filled with double-meaning dialogues, sexual situations and embarrassing incidents about elder guys trying to make out with younger girls, in the name of entertainment. The only entertaining parts of the film, however, are provided by a character who plays a superstar himself in the film and whose plot is not directly related to the one of the three main protagonists anyway.

 

For the quality of the film, check out the reviews @ http://thereviewmonk.com/movie/the-shaukeens/

Bollysitter Recommends: JO JEETA WOHI SIKANDAR (1992)

BollySitter Recommended Age:         10+ (For language and mild sensuality)

BollySitter Family GO Factor:           4.5/5.0

Directed by:    Mansoor Khan

Starring:          Aamir Khan, Mamik, Deepak Tijori, Ayesha Jhulka, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Pooja Bedi

Music by:        Jatin-Lalit

Produced by:   Nasir Hussain

Lyrics by:        Majrooh Sultanpuri

Running time: 158 mins

Genre(s):         Comedy, Drama, Thriller
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SYNOPSIS

“JO JEETA WOHI SIKANDAR (JJWS)” is a 1992 sports/coming-of-age Hindi drama that highlights the importance of honesty, discipline, leadership and team-spirit in life, for all youngsters who aspire to make a name for themselves in the any field and especially sports. The film was a major hit when it was released over twenty years ago and remains a superior entertainer for both the young and adults to this very day.

 

JJWS is the story of two brothers from one of the three all-boys schools in Dehradun. An existing rivalry between three all-boys schools manifests itself through the annual sports championship. While the elder brother, portrayed on screen by Mamik, is serious-minded, disciplined, respectful and an excellent sportsman, the younger one, played by Aamir Khan, is happy-go-lucky, mischievous, unscrupulous, street-smart and at times deceitful. The plot of the film revolves around how the younger brother realizes the mistakes he has made in his life and how he restores the pride of his family, his brother and his school by winning the championship-defining bicycle race in the end.

 

WHY WATCH?

JJWS is not just a serious tale about a boy growing up but a complete entertainer, Bollywood style, with memorable music and wonderful locations. The storyline is replete with elements that tickle your bone, make you laugh, get you thinking, tug your hearts and give you an adrenaline rush, all within two and a half hours.

 

JJWS has characters and episodes that kids can learn a lot from. Sibling love, honesty in any relationship, respectfulness towards elders and dedication towards your goals are at the heart of this film. There are takeaways galore throughout, including what not-to-do, that adults will have no problems in discussing with their children.

 

Lying to your friends, stealing, using cuss words, being manipulative and cheating in sports are some of the areas that are rightfully portrayed in a negative light via both comic as well as serious episodes throughout the film. Things do get a little bit heavy and melodramatic at times but those instances are far and few in between.

 

A WORD OF CAUTION

BollySitter recommends this film for kids over 10 years of age. There are sequences where young school boys are shown smoking, saying cuss words (“Shit”, “Bloody Bastard”, “Haraamzaade”), flirting with girls and fighting with each other. Lying, stealing and disrespectful attitude towards is depicted but is never glorified and their consequences are also shown, so as to dissuade kids from adopting such attitude. There is a kissing scene between two characters and a scene where the skirt of a female is shown raised higher than usual, while she dances. However, none of these are overtly sexual in nature.

 

THE FINAL VERDICT

“Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander” is a rare sports film from Bollywood that not only entertains but educates as well. With a story that is for and about youngsters, a high entertainment quotient owed to memorable music, delightful comedy and thrilling moments and a higher than usual quality of performances and direction, BollySitter gives JJWS a “GO” rating of 4.5/5.0.