Two movies, three actors.

In the movie – Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat, the character of DJ isn’t necessary, except if that character is a device to hold some intervening narratives and help in the story’s culmination.

‘Almost Pyaar’ packages a surprise – Aalia F, who is a gifted actress. After years of watching 30-plus-old actors and actresses masquerading as 20-year-olds, here is one fresh and comely face who is actually in the mid-’20s and as time and opportunities present themselves, she can be the one rising star of this decade of the ’20s.

Aalia F is talented and has star qualities.

‘Almost Pyaar’ is a well-shown story. It uses the concept of parallel lives and weaves two plots that play in tandem. At first, this way of storytelling in Hindi movies might confuse the viewers, but as the scene progresses, things get clearer. I liked the fact that the writer and director of the movie, Anurag Kashyap, did not consider his viewers as idiots and dumbed down and over-explained everything.

‘Almost Pyaar’ is almost there as intelligent storytelling and good acting, and, thanks to who-so-ever chose the actress, she is the star of the movie and a star in the making.


I did think that ‘Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh’ will be a refreshing watch. For one, the director is Raj Kumar Santoshi, a filmmaker with a good pedigree. And two, this is a what-if movie with lots of curiosity factor.

The best thing about the movie, which I would like to state right off the bat, is – Gandhi. I have watched Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi (1982) several times, and Ben Kingsley as Gandhi had become a standard in movies. In fact, whenever Ben Kingsley acts in any other movies, as an Indian, one cannot escape seeing a Gandhi in him.

But Raj Kumar Santoshi’s casting director got the best Gandhi to date. This Gandhi is the exact Gandhi. The actor Deepak Antani not only represents Gandhi to the tee, but is able to project Gandhi as one sees Gandhi in the old newsreels.

Deepak Antani is the best Gandhi.

The character of Godse does not look like Godse, which we see in the old pictures, but Chinmay Mandlekar is an accomplished actor who fulfilled a hard task – much more difficult than Gandhi – at least in this movie.

We limit the violence of the character of Godse to just firing three shots at Gandhi. But when the character of Godse gets extended, as in this movie, the source of violence has to come from the demeanor and the eyes. And mind you, when the compromise occurs at the end, the same Godse who has portrayed violence, has also to portray the pathos in the end.

So, one can see Gandhi’s character traversing a straight line. But Godse’s character has to start at a point and rise to some boiling point where he shoots Gandhi, and thereafter in the “what-if” part of the movie, the character has to descend the temperature and lock steps with Gandhi.

Though I regard Deepak Antani as the best Gandhi, both in looks and acting, to date, equally and slightly more, I consider Chinmay Mandlekar as a wonderful actor who had the most difficult part in the movie and which he delivered.

Deepak Antani breaks Gandhi’s portrayal yardstick, but Chinmay Mandlekar establishes Godse’s portrayal yardstick. And Aalia F silently steps in as a new face of the ’20s.