• If you have fond memories Basu Chaterjee’s suave and mature adaption of Byomkesh Bakshi aired on DD in 1993, you might be in for a surprise after watching Dibakar Banerjee’s adaption. For this latest avatar of BB is a young lad who is as restless and careless as many 20 something guys of today. Almost a chain smoker, Sushant Singh Rajput’s BB is even over-confident at times and thus ends up committing few mistakes but is smart enough to learn from them and correct them as well. And this in my view also becomes a part reason as to why the movie is slow to begin with since we see him grow almost from scratch.

    The plot of the movie is, quite expectedly, about unravelling a mystery. The mystery is laid in the backdrop of drugs cartel, World War II and India’s freedom struggle. And more than the prime plot, its the thread with which all the above backdrop subjects are interwoven is more interesting and even intelligently crafted. And all that is thrown in the beautiful frames of old Calcutta courtesy some superb work behind the lens by cinematographer Nikos Andritsakis. Unfortunately, the mystery is not as gripping as one would expect but the editing and the sequence of events ensure that you are bound to lose track of whats happening if you don’t pay attention, especially in the second half. In a way, being not-so-mysterious works well for the movie for it avoids the usual cliche of throwing a huge surprise in your face like the many other whodunnit movies.

    Sushant Singh Rajput is remarkable in BB’s character and so are his other hostel mates and the hostel owner. There is a dash of glamour courtesy Swastika Banerjee, some of whose scenes in the first half were unnecessary. But nevertheless, she fits quite well in the bigger scheme of things. And there is this trademark Dibakar Banerjee dark humour in couple of scenes (esp that one scene towards the climax of the movie) which bring a smile in an otherwise dark movie. That darkness is further accentuated by some hard rock soundtrack by Sneha Khalwalkar.

    Overall, its a good movie and should be watched, more so if you are DB fan. Having said that, I still miss Dibakar Banerjee’s style of humour of Khosla Ka Ghosla and Oye Lucky and wish he returns to that genre soon.

    PS: The Sherlock Vs Moriarty inspired treatment towards the end means there is small scope of sequel as well

    October 02, 15
  • While Avengers-I had a story of its own (that depends on whether you believe if there really was a story there or just a bunch of super (stylish) heroes getting together to kick Loki’s a**), Avengers -Age of Ultron is more about the big picture. That essentially means you have to do your homework about whats there in pipeline by Marvel Studios over next couple of years and what is happening in the parallel comics universe of Avengers, for Joss Whedon sows seeds of future in this movie.

    And in the process what do we get?

    – A slightly darker sequel in comparison to the first part.

    – A bunch which is more comfortable in each other’s company now and share some really witty moments between them. Apart from others, its good to see the Cap too matching up to the wits of Stark and Black Widow, something that he probably learned in The Winter Soldier. And the coordination is even seen amazingly in the fight sequences!

    – Convergence of characters from various Marvel worlds in one movie (which could also become overwhelming for some).

    – A story line which I found better than the first part and which also keeps on dropping hints about the future Marvel movies.

    As far as action is concerned, there are no disappointments on that front as the movie starts in the top gear from the word go. Once the dust settles, the movie wanders into a little darker zone where Maximoff/Scarlett Witch literally screws up the brains of all the Avengers. To an extent that this screw up looked more damaging than what Ultron could eventually do.

    James Spader behind Ultron’s menacing voice is one of the high points of the movie. Sadly though, Ultron itself does not turn to be as menacing as it could have been. I felt the makers could have spend more time explaining about the creation/capabilities of Ultron to give it more weightage. Hawkeye, while in first part mostly played Loki’s “personal flying monkey” has more important role to play in this one. “Big Guy’s” screen space as a result is a little compensated, though his track as Bruce Banner is loveable. Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver too play their part well in whatever way they could without getting lost in the crowd of all the characters. And ScaJo, well hearts to her!

    Go watch it on the big screen (I watched it in 2D and still enjoyed it) but do your homework about the Marvel characters (Ultron, Vision, Jarvis, Scarlett Witch, Quicksilver, Thanos) and the upcoming Marvel Movies (Civil War, Inifinity War) so that you too are able to see the big picture.

    October 02, 15
  • There are two clear winners in TWMR: Kangana (of course) and dialogues. Anand Rai surely has penchant for good dialogues (not sure who is the writer though). TWM had good ones, Raanjhana’s were better and they are one of the lead actors in TWMR.
    The movie opens 4 years after the original one and straight away gets into man and wife post marital issues. Only in this case they turn really really sour. And that brings Tanu into her rebellious self and Kangana into (now) her forte. If you have TWM still fresh in your head, you will notice that Kangana has grown leaps and bounds as an actor.

    Even though things are serious, the humour element doesn’t let u take things too seriously. Watch out for the “Kandha(Shoulder)” theory, Two Bricks theory of Jimmy Shergill and Surdies doing Garba. And there are many other such moments, even subtle ones, which will leave you with your sides split. Mr. Dobriyal is the funny man. He ups his performance many folds and his spontaneity in delivering the dialogues is impeccable!

    Kangana’s achievement is that you will love her Haryanvi character’s humorous side and her innocence and hate her as rebellious Tanu. Goes without saying that she really is the queen yet again. Maddy, Jimmy Shergill, Zeeshan ably support the cast.
    But what prevents it from becoming another Queen like movie are the liberties taken in the story. And there are quite a few of them like a man ending up in mental asylum and a petty kidnapping.

    In the end however, you come out of the hall entertained by laughter moments, mesmerized by Tanu’s beauty and enchanted by Kusum’s innocence.

    October 02, 15
  • Assets being fed, Assets being controlled, Assets in containment, Assets out of containment. Calling dinosaurs as “assets” is such an understatement. As Dr. Alan Grant in the ‘93 original said, “Can’t just suppress 65 million years of gut instinct.”, the same holds true even today.

    John Hammond has passed on the baton of the park to Mr. Masarani, very well portrayed by Irrfan. The park now is bigger and better two decades later. Instead of the tour cars, we have tour gyrospheres; there is dolphin show style dinosaur show (of course sans the dance), there are interactive screens and elephant-like dinosaur rides for kids and the control room is much more technologically advanced. And well, the dinosaur too is meaner and hence the name : Indominous Rex. Because people want something with more teeth and something “bigger, better and louder”.

    The makers fully achieve what they wanted to achieve in terms of the visual appeal. The park, the facilities, the array of creatures all look sublime. Some of the moments in the Spielberg version like the one where T-Rex crushes the car with kids trapped inside them have been recreated as per the latest setup which do bring back the nostalgia. There are enough blockbuster moments involving the I-Rex, Raptors and other dinosaurs to keep you at the edge of the seat. Claire’s assistant being thrown around by dinos and the climax sequence are two such which need special mention. And Indominous Rex is one bad ass dino with capabilities of couple of other creatures (including T-Rex) all rolled into one. Yeah, take that T-Rex!

    Chris Pratt is a stud. He doesn’t look one bit the researcher he portrays esp when he is riding that bike, but carries off his character with a charm and wit at times. Irrfan as Mr. Masarni is a cool customer. He is an upright park owner and a cool pilot. Though his chopper passengers are afraid when he is the pilot but he has always “got it”.

    Since its a reboot, comparisons with the Spielberg version are inevitable. Claire realises it quite early in the movie that “No one’s impressed by a dinosaur anymore”. Jurassic Park had a big first player advantage. And with Speilberg at its helm, it fully played to its advantage thereby creating some scenes which are etched into our memory to date. Jurassic World on the other hand fails to create that big an impact. And it has its fare share of plot holes like missing an effective evacuation plan for a park this big, and the park owner approving certain things without his knowledge. Further, the first half doesn’t really create those wow moments which the ’93 version did. And I totally failed to understand why Irrfan’s character has been given that puffy-eyed, unshaven and tired look. Being an owner, he could have been presented in a much better way.

    However, its the second one hour and especially the last half an hour which really lifts the whole movie. I watched it in 2D but I think 3D could be better given the scenes involving dinos are not chaotic. Plus one might enjoy the scale of the park better in 3D.
    In a nutshell, Jurassic World can be watched for its blockbuster moments despite the fact that it doesn’t leave the same impact as Jurassic Park did.

    P.S. : Don’t watch it with your 5 year (or less) old kids , the I-Rex and the Raptors can be very scary to them smile emoticon

    *Spoiler Alert*
    T-Rex and the Raptors have their Godzilla moment in the climax which leads to another recreated scene in the end from the ’93 saga.

    October 02, 15