• A tiny cameo by Vijay Raaz illustrates what this film needed more of: a touch of whimsy, a kind of magic. More of this, wrapped in Mohd Rafi’s honeyed voice (yes, that’s why Siddiqui is named Rafi) which wafts over the film, would have made this odd couple romance much more believable.

  • Badla, an official remake of a Spanish murder mystery, pulls off a mostly gripping whodunit, something Bollywood rarely manages.

  • Abhishek Chaubey’s very scenic Sonchiriya, tramping along those nooks and crevices of the Chambal, expending hundreds of bullets and quarts of spraying blood, made familiar by countless ‘daaku’ films of the 70s and 80s, almost always feels like a retread.

  • Somewhere deep inside Luka Chuppi is the film it wanted to be: a send-up of the tiresome rituals and hypocrisies which bind socially-sanctioned relationships, and an attack on religious bigotry.

  • The only people who prevent you from strangling yourself is the forever-bickering couple played by Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit.

  • …this is a film to enjoy, both in the seeing, and in the hearing: the soundtrack and the ‘songs’ leap off the screen. In today’s India, to bring a Murad and Safeena, their Muslim-ness a matter-of-fact statement, into centre-stage, to give traction to those who live on the wrong side of the tracks, is an act of bravery. I’ll take them any day over an overused Raj-and-Raveena. ‘Inka time aa gaya’. Rap along.

  • What it comes down to is this: yes, we want to make a progressive film, but we have to show our women getting freed up only after getting male approval-and-help.

  • As promised, Manikarnika does tick all the nationalistic boxes. It is getting a perfectly-timed Republic Day release. And there are plenty of eye-roll moments as it chases the red-faced Brits, and raises the flag. It may have been Jhansi, but it is clearly a prelude to the ‘tiranga’. But what keeps us with the film is Rani Ranaut, who in her best moments, owns her part, the narrative, and the screen.

  • Almost every moment in the movie is a death of irony, the biggest of them being that Nawazuddin Siddiqui, an outsider on both counts of community and religion, plays Balasaheb Thackeray.

  • The material is slender and too stretched over two hours, as it goes from engineering-medicine into management, the holy grail.

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