• Based on a wonderful story ‘Kabuliwala’ by Rabindranath Tagore, this story turns a dry-fruit vendor into a Bioscopewala, and Minnie and her dad into this modern dysfunctional family. It is not just a stretch but the whole film is about Minnie rediscovering ‘facts’ that everyone and their popcorn in the audience has already guessed. You want to slap Minnie many times, but Danny as Bioscopewala wins your hearts…

  • With American satellites keeping a constant eye on Pokhran, India’s Nuclear site for years (India had conducted the first ‘peaceful’ nuclear explosion in 1974), there was no way they world was going to allow India to join the nuclear nations. So a civil services officer created a team and helped conduct not one, but three underground nuclear explosions successfully, one of the most successful covert operations in the world. The idea is great, but it takes too long to build the story.

  • A copy of the Marathi film Ventilator, Khajoor Pe Atke exaggerates in every possible way bringing down what could have been a wonderful situational dark comedy to something unsavory. A brother is about to die, and the family gathers around to ‘be there’. Each person has his or her own motives for being there. Alas, instead of letting the audience decide when to chuckle and when to fall off the chair laughing, the loud comic sounds and the constant overacting puts you off.

  • A lovely story about love, duty, everyday life set in Benaras. A grouchy, crotchety man who does his duty by his wife and daughter announces that he has arranged for his daughter to be married off. The daughter rebels and questions her dad: do you even know what is love? How the question is answered is this lovely tale of heartache and love and new beginnings.

  • Everything old is eventually replaced by something new, and it’s best to adapt. Whether it is an ancient photocopier or a big old house. This is a lesson that this small feel-good family film that has the heart in its right place brings on the big screen. They try really hard and even though little scenes from the film are good, the film drags on and on and you wish it should have been made for TV movie instead.

  • How do you make a patriotic film without any bombastic dialog and still manage to move the most cynical filmgoer to tears? Raazi is one of the finest films to come out of Bollywood. It is the story about a young Kashmiri girl who marries into a Pakistani general’s family and in her own way and at great danger to her life spies for India and practically saves the day during the war between Pakistan and India in 1971. It is a tale well told and brilliantly acted. Must watch!

  • A man who is 102 years old and full of life teaches a lesson or two or three for his grouchy 75 year old son. Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor make this father and son melodrama a good watch simply because they deliver. But if you step away from the casting coup, the loud violins that accompany the moralising and the mawkish sentimentality could put you off. Should have been a Sunday afternoon theatrical production, with a family hug afterwards…

  • The word ‘Omerta’ means a code of silence that members of crime groups adopt when caught by the law. This film shows us how Omar was happy to kill in the name of religion. The staccato storytelling style and the constant shift between past and present is distracting at best. Unfortunately there is no emotional takeaway from the story, so you watch the stabbings and the kidnappings wondering ‘what was that?’

  • Is it a comedy? Is it horror? Is it social drama? Is it funny? Is it a weird love story? No one quite knows and when everything is piled on so thick, you begin to wonder as audience if you have lost your capacity to care. The background music is ideal for saturday morning cartoons and is so loud you want to order ear plugs. At 132.47 minutes, you idly wonder if they would be easily delivered before you would turn permanently deaf.

  • Majid Majidi comes to India and falls for the poverty is beautiful trap. After that, he simply rolls from one cliche to another and another until you just shake your head in despair. Ishan Khattar who makes his debut shows flashes of talent and is let down by a 70s style poverty porn. And the other star of the film is the city itself. But that just isn’t enough to make you want to spend multiplex money.

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