• Kalank doesn’t really lift off the screen. The whole feels like a giant set, stately and ponderous and minus impact; the characters all costumed and perfumed and largely life-less, sparking only in bits and pieces.

  • The entire film is a series of eye-roll moments, pockmarked by dialogue that’s unintentionally hilarious. We don’t really have to wait for the big reveal to see the purpose of the film.

  • A fresh entrant helps No Fathers In Kashmir to ask questions in order to make the film relevant to audiences unfamiliar with the conflict.

  • The John Abraham starrer suffers from its length, and the pall of dullness that hangs over the proceedings. A spy needs to be a patriot. That’s why he does what he does, knowing that he is ‘deniable’.

  • Vidyut Jammwal is a dab hand at action, and those bits are watchable. He is fluid and graceful and believable as he kicks and chops his way in and out of trouble.

  • Akshay Kumar is the film. And he pulls it off, keeping that ‘Kesari’ pagdi aloft right till the end, delivering thundering speeches, and keeping his men’s morale up. His Ishar Singh is inhabited and convincing, and it helps that his Punjabi accent is completely on point.

  • 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.

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