• This might be an incongruous analogy, but Zoya Akhtar’s “Gully Boy” is like those picture-in-picture debates you see on prime-time news, but in a good way. There is a central story with many windows open at once, essentially leading to the main plot, but also alive in their own way, thus making the big picture seem that much more textured and vibrant.

  • What works for Dhar’s film are the honest performances, especially by the reliable Kapoor and Rao, who inject the film with energy. That energy is solely lacking in Kapoor Ahuja, who puts in a rather insipid performance as a young woman trapped in her identity and desperate for a way out. Not that the script affords her much, but even with what she has, she squanders the chance to depict the real struggle of women in small-town India and the prejudices they must deal with daily. She is the film’s weakest link, and the reason why this story falls short.

  • Kangana Ranaut does her best. She is awkward and stilted as the demure bride but comes into her own as the warrior queen. She adds a swagger to her stride and a steely determination to her demeanour that are hard not to cheer for. She is the only thing that make this film worth a watch.

  • Not that “Thackeray” was ever going to be anything but a hagiography, but films like these underline the need for good, impartial and well-made political films. Given how obsessed we are with politics, we deserve better films about it and the men who shape our nation. 

  • “Why Cheat India” might not be the definitive film on the flaws of the Indian education system, but it is effective enough to give audiences a jolt.

  • For all the storm around it, “The Accidental Prime Minister” is a hollow film – it has nothing to say, no stand to take and no insight to offer about its subject.

  • His slick war film draws a leaf out of Kathryn Bigelow’s gritty movies. “Uri: The Surgical Strike” is shorn of heavy background music, has smart action sequences and the requisite fist-pumping dialogue that are the hallmark of this genre. But try as it might, it also cannot avoid the Bollywood tropes that weigh it down.

  • “Zero” has lofty ambitions but when it comes to delivery, it falls too short.

  • For a film that ebbs and flows, the leads thankfully keep it afloat and steady. Rajput is wonderful as Mansoor, using his eyes and body language to convincingly convey his character’s emotions. But the true revelation is Khan, whose performance makes it hard to believe that this is her first film. She acts like a veteran, is a natural in front of the camera and handles the emotional scenes with ease. She is the most memorable thing about “Kedarnath”.

  • Myra Vishwakarma is adorable, but it is unsettling to think that she had to enact all these horrifying scenes. That a child should have to go through such traumatic scenarios for the sake of a few scares seem wrong.

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