• For far too long, Hollywood blockbusters have waged war against the extra terrestrial, using it as the perfect excuse to unite a fragmented world. Arrival challenges that notion and asks us to look within.

  • There is a buoyancy to the proceedings, even though they are utterly predictable. It helps that the film is a musical; it has actor-singers as a part of its cast and at many points, the songs help the scenes breeze through. The film’s primary target audience is, of course, children, but accompanying adults should have a good time too.

  • The Shallows fails to invent new things for itself in the third act. It becomes predictable, falling on easy survival movie devices like recording on a video camera, or the fact that Nancy, being a medical student, is able to tend to her wounds. But it is a well-crafted film that engages for the most of its 1.5 hours of running time.

  • To its credit, Freaky Ali never gets sentimental; whenever there’s a potentially heavy-handed situation, it’s defused with a pun. Sometimes one ends up laughing, even if isn’t clear that this is what the filmmaker intended.

  • Ultimately, M Cream comes off as an amateur, even pretentious effort to showcase an unexplored subculture. In the end, one of the characters says, “What a journey it has been”, and you think, “Not really.”

  • Collision Course never really soars. It doesn’t show any inventiveness, apart from the set pieces involving Scrat the squirrel (Chris Wedge) and his acorn. Five movies later, it remains the only track that is still as amusing as it was the first time; it has the absurd entertainment value of Tom And Jerry cartoons. The makers have produced short movies starring Scrat, but they should perhaps consider giving him his own feature-length film. At the moment, that seems like a more entertaining prospect than the main franchise.

  • For all its merits, it ultimately feels like an empty film that depends more on the quirks of the characters than the characters themselves. As a film that describes its protagonists as wannabe gangsters, it almost ends up being a victim of its own joke.

  • Shorgul ’s release was postponed because of political pressure. To its credit, the film bluntly takes on real-life references with slightly modified names. Shergill’s Ranjit Om is of the Bharatiya Janatantra Party (modelled on Sangeet Som of BJP) whose speeches evoke history to fuel hatred toward Muslims.

  • The film’s biggest failure is to not make us care for any of the characters: all victims of terrible crimes. It uses stunts from movies like Usual Suspects and Now You See Me for effect — faking deceitful identities to fool the system and leaving clues all around the city to prove how clever the protagonist is. There is an attempt of a Psycho touch in the serial killer’s relationship with her Tai. Then there are lines like, “He is neither black nor white. He is grey.” I was guilty of missing the first ten minutes of the film, but I’m kinda glad I had to watch less of it.

  • Rough Book maybe a well-intentioned film that tries to talk about education’s descent into business in the country. But it is impossible to take it seriously.

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