• In the end, rather than being about the heavy religious stuff, it is about universal human drama. As a father and son reconcile, it is near heart-breaking. As an old man and his grandaughter sneak out for bhang, it tells you that the most devout have mischief in them. Bhutiani gives death its due dignity, and yet retains its objectivity and subtlety. It makes you laugh, and cry, and think and question. It’s what good cinema and storytelling are meant to do.

  • Young Johnson has shades of a young Rocky, pestering him the way he’d once pestered Mickey (late Burgess Meredith) to train him. He asks about the outcome of his third fight with Apollo (which Rocky III ends with). The overall story, too, fits the underdog-versus-champion template.

  • A film that is as riveting as it is engaging, Fire… emerges as the perfect vehicle for a powerful message that has been lost in the cacophony of social media networks and 24×7 news cycles. It is well-shot, sharply edited, and has a fluent, convincing narrative.

  • Ship Of Theseus, no doubt, an intellectual exercise, the sort festival films often indulge in. Yet, the narrative is lucid, and the stories are simple and deeply moving.

  • Flaws notwithstanding, Lootera is of a standard that’s inarguably higher than the Bollywood average. Here’s a director to watch out for. Behrman’s masterpiece came in The Last Leaf. Motwane’s is yet to come.

  • Ferrari works as a film. It’s a story of reaching for your dreams, of endearing father-son relationships, and of moral lessons that aren’t preachy. It’s a formula that rarely fails — the sort of feel-good movie that makes for perfect Sunday viewing with the whole family.

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