• A compelling fairy tale with a standout performance by Ranveer Singh…

  • Ek Ladki moves along on the strength of its progressive theme and some fine performances. Typical Bollywood elements – quirky characters, peppy songs, posh settings, syrupy emotions – are cleverly turned around to encourage us to see love through a different lens. However, the 120-minute movie tries too hard to be funny and heartfelt at the same time (and sometimes in the same scene). The comic bits inspired by the source material always work better than the melodramatic portions.

  • The Manikarnika production isn’t lavish enough to suggest a grand sweep of history, and the focus on its heroine is too narrow to accommodate a larger conversation about the efficacy of Lakshmibai’s actions. There is plenty of leaping and feinting, but not enough reflecting.

  • A petty attack on the Gandhi family that lacks insight…

  • The 138-minute Uri leaves no room for debate. The build-up to the military strikes are accompanied by swelling background music. All characters are suitably grim and ruthless, preparing to “invade the enemy in his home and kill him there”. The action sequences have a brutality and realism that has rarely been seen in Hindi cinema. The film is stacked with bold flourishes – the title appears on the screen only 30-odd minutes in – and Aditya Dhar directs with a confidence that belies his experience.

  • Ranveer Singh’s energy and flamboyance ensure that Simmba appears more engaging than it often is, and Ajay Devgn’s well-timed cameo rescues the film from being a write-off. Simbba is all about its male movie stars. Sara Ali Khan has fewer scenes than some of the other characters, including Siddharth Jadhav as a member of Simmba’s posse. The movie has no use for her Shagun – so much for being on the side of women.

  • Khan’s fanbase will possibly be even more perplexed with Zero. By trying to play the man next door rather than a larger-than-life personality, Khan has all too literally let himself be cut to size. The romantic declarations are less effective, the conviction with which Khan has carried off more modest romances is missing, and the package is smaller than before. As the space rocket blasts off towards Mars, the superstar is transformed into a supernova, and it’s null all the way into the void.

  • At close to 120 minutes, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse spins far too many webs for its own good, but the witty dialogue, energetic voice work, and eye-popping visuals mostly keep fatigue at bay.

  • Ali Khan is a vibrant presence, lending her character spirit and charisma. She is the most watchable and memorable character in the pre-interval sequences, and gives a snappily told but somewhat cold film much-needed warmth when the mountains melt and everything goes under water.

  • In the end, the movie belongs to Freddie Mercury, the Bohemian rhapsodiser of the title, who conquers with his voice from beyond the grave. The movie comes alive every time Mercury’s sonorous voice booms out of the screen. His powerful singing makes it possible to endure the flat writing and staging with your eyes shut and your ears open.

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