Waiting is Good...
‘Waiting’ is a slow, languidly paced film. Let me warn you, you’ll get exhausted despite an enjoyably shot secomd half and a mellow, entertaining first half. But it is a very intimate, affectionate film which celebrates its romance, which unfolds in many layers and skims surfaces which are deep. Its premise is very Bollywood- and its treatment is so global that you believe that these desi characters can still inhabit amy part of the world. When they talk with each other, there’s a strange wiring between them- thanks to the very fuzzy, warm writing. You should watch it. Not the best Hindi film of the year, still.
Love and recession...
Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s ‘Asha Jaoar Majhe’ is a little Bengali wordless film about two people, ‘The Man’ and ‘The Woman’. They are husband and wife, living in what seems to be an ancestral home. Woman works in a Jute bag factory during the daytime. It is when the man is home. He buys fish, and cooks. He takes a bathe. He sleeps. He dreams. When the woman is back, man has gone. He works in a printing press in night shifts. She eats, washes her face. Actually, this film is their daily lives. But these activities are textured and emoted with a satisfactory emptiness. And their is a blooming romance between the couple, as it meets when the man comes home and the woman has to get ready for her work at the same time. Its when their love story genuinely moves you. At that, the film is extremely well-written and well-acted: the performances by Basabadatta Chatterjee and Ritwick Chakraborty well-render some tunes into the odd silence they share.
Namastey London, an effective cross-cultural story with Punjab and England is a soaringly fun film starring a talented starcast of Rishi Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar. Though it is a genuine love story, what works is its absorbing laughs, which are plenty. It is certainly a outdated view, but it has so much of laughable charm! It’s humor is cheap, and its love story is generic. But yes boy, we don’t get them made like this these days.
‘Dhoom 2’, despite many contrivances, no logic and poor writing, is absolutely recommended.
Dhoom-2, which is a mindless masala entertainer with no other intention than to purely entertain and keep you invested on screens. Sure its not fine, but what I seek from cinema is fun, and this one has ample, even more than its predecessor Dhoom.
‘Guru’ is a certainly manipulative film, and its love story is regular. But still, whatever your taste may be, you should watch it.
And then, Guru of Mani Ratnam starring Abhishek Bachchan works both as a heavy account and a moving biopic of the leading industrialist of the times, Shri Dheerubhai Ambani, and as a saga of turbulent emotions. This film constitutes of brilliant lighting, amazing performances delivered by Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai and pitch-perfect textures of dramatic storytelling. The story doesn’t shy away from exploring the industrious darkness of Gujarat and the flying culture there. But actually, watch it as a biopic which you haven’t seen in so many years.
When Style Met Storytelling!
‘Jab We Met’ is a magically romantic film which sings of the personalities the lovers- Geet and Aditya- have. And boy, how fun are they!
Imtiaz Ali created a soaring, romantic movie called Socha Na Tha a few years back. Though I loved the film, I feared that the debut director would be lost somewhere in the lights of the festive circuit, never finding a true place in the mainstream Bollywood. But then, who knew that this man would someday direct the most fluffy, the most masala mainstream film with all elements from airy romance to heartbreak to plenty-of-laughs, actually, absolute fun? No one, and that’s the effect this man creates with his Jab We Met, a story of lovers. Shahid Kapoor and Katrina Kaif have a great chemistry as Geet and Aditya despite splitting up, but the real power here is with the director, who creates a stylish candyfloss Bollywood film with emotions. A must-watch despite tedium.
On the Move...
‘Life in a… Metro’ is a constantly traveling film which engages you right from its first frame. And that’s because of its gripping writing and unmatched performances.
Anurag Basu’s film makes for an absolutely complete and amazing view. With absolutely arresting depiction of the lifeless hustle-and-bustle of Mumbai, its about nine listless people and their tryst for love. Starring gifted performers like Shilpa Shetty, Sharman Joshi, Kangana Ranaut, Irrfan Khan and Konkona Sensharma, watch it for the performances and cinematography of the Mumbai Metro. One of the best love stories in recent times.
Like Stars on Earth...
‘Taare Zameen Par’, take in word, is the best Hindi film you will see in 2007. It is the most pleasant experience in cinemas till now this decade.
No other film made me more emotional this year. This full-of-life and a slice-of-life film will change your life and spark a conversation, which is a little too obvious, but what works more is the performance of Darsheel Safari as an imperfect child, as does the performance of Aamir Khan who breathes life into the role of constantly moving teacher. But what is more that the film is also but a celebration of this template in Bollywood. You never often get that. Amol Gupte creates a heartfelt film which gets better with each and every frame.
‘Chak De! India’ is one of the most satisfying, amazing experiences in Hindi cinema in a long time. And that’s because of three reasons- no necessary jingoism, an unlikely but blazingly women-empowering premise and the best performance by Shahrukh Khan in his career.
Chak De! India, although an inspiring story about Women’s Hockey Team, is Shahrukh Khan’s game as he essays the ‘terrorist’ coach Kabir Khan. Actually, it is Shahrukh’s best film as an actor, as he makes an effective cut as a strict coach, a great friend and one of the best emotional mentors. But what makes the film different is its being a Shahrukh Khan film without any romantic angle. There is India and there are Indian sportswomen, and as are the regular writing clichés like focusing on one naive word of a colloquial language as Santhali, and the film oozes with melodrama. But what’s further there is fun. You seldom get that these days.
Hail the Captain!
‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is a rare, fine suoerhero film which has action and flare in an array of a colour palette which doesn’t try dumb and looks real and to the point. Chris Evans establishes himself finly after a boring outing as the interesting Steve Rogers, to an extent that now, he is my favourite MCU Superhero.
Evans has worked a lot on Captain America. He unleashes every charge, every unmistakeably clumsy shot and eventually, each emotion with grandeur of the action. Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff is interesting- Black Widow’s finest portrayal she certainly is, frame-to-frame brave, cut-to-cut sexy.
All-in-all, ‘The Winter Soldier’ is a solid, brilliant film.
But sadly, the second half is just too long, and the lines are actually somewhat mediocre at there. It definitely marred down the spirit.
But in no ways is this film a dazzling only piece. No ways does it not offer abundant fun. And that, I expect from a superhero film.
Fantasying the Fantastical!
‘Doctor Strange’ deserves being watched. It has the likeability checklist which stays usually- the one introduced by the ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’. It also capitalizes the problems omce again which made the first two outings of the Thor movies boring. But it is one of the most remarkably innovativeness-laden movies of the franchise- No, there’s nothing like Doctor Strange’s character which existed in either Marvel or DC. The film has gripping writing: it makes you submit to the thrilling magic of this superb character. You will to take his name woth respect. And that’s not a small thing. I am going with 3.5 for ‘Doctor Strange’. Watchable, and, more.
‘Avengers: Endgame’ is one of the most… better films of Marvel’s cinematic universe. It propagates enthusiasm, and traps itself into the amusement of the genre’s shots. But it is also authentically emotional. When was the last time you saw a superhero care for his family? When was the last time you saw a superhero just running through the garveyard. And, when did you last see such a glorious assembly of marching superheroes? I, for one, recall nothing like ‘Avengers: Endgame’ which actually existed. It is a captivating force of a film, designed for delight and tears and excitement. There’s a rush which you feel throughout its running time. I am going with four stars for ‘Endgame’. It’s not as thorough as ‘Black Panther’, not is it as vivid as ‘Ragnarok’, and it is still the most enjoyable superhero film in any time this year.
‘Thor: Ragnarok’ rocks because it stands upright as a true, full-blown and contextual original with a by-the-books narrative which never gets on the way of solid storytelling.
Chris Hemsworth isn’t, but Thor is actually an overrated MCU superhero. He does amuse you, but doesn’t go beyond its clichéd ideas, which, for one, are very overtly manipulative. But ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ avoids the trappings ‘Thor’ and the ‘Dark World’ were stuck into. It is certainly better than the origin stories, and Thor, Valkyrie and others seem more refreshing after two Avengers outings.
Strikingly further, while using a more vibrant, vivid colour palette than the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ lifts off as a slightly more refreshing film, with some notwithstanding but relevant superhero clichés.
But above anything, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is a very entertaining, fun film which has seductive charm.
Pink Bubbles, Warm Message...
‘A Sky is Pink’ is an emotional roller-coaster with a clear message- ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaara’. Here this message is quite literal than figurative. The film, a biogrpahical of Aysha Chaudhary and his family, is a great, soulful portrait which has been painted with rhythm, quality and conviction. The emotional consistencies are very real and so is the film. But with too much dazzle, the film loses its form, something which was very balanced in Shonali Bose, the director’s recent outing ‘Margarita with a Straw’. The storytelling, however, is consistent enough to steal the stellar show. It’s three stars for ‘The Sky is Pink’. It is one of the best Hindi films this year.
‘OK Jaanu’ is an immense disappointment of a film. It kind of does get the concept of ‘OK Kanmani’ right, but the performances of Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapoor clearly don’t have that charm of Nithya Menen and Dulquer Salman. The film is filled with sketchy writing and poor direction.
But what somehow saves ‘OK Jaanu’ from becoming a complete bore is its music, which, thankfully, doesn’t suck the music out. It squeezes some love into a film which doesn’t have even the L of it. I am going with 2 stars.
‘Black Panther’ is the thoroughly engaging, enjoyable and intricacy-laden emotional entertainer Marvel had seeked for a long, long time. A predominantly black-cast film, ‘Black Panther’ doesn’t shy to laugh away its weaknesses, and is far from loud action which has been a ‘genre-trapping’ problem for the superhero action films of its kind. Sure it puts a lot of things in the box, but it never lets all of them mix up and form a crass-in-taste pudding. It is a whole barrel of entertainment, packed in with smooth, unflinching and delectable entertainment. It is the fun movie this cinematic universe had sought. I am going with 4 stars for ‘Black Panther’. It is the best Marvel Cinematic Universe film, take that in writing.
Thrill Ground O!
‘Blackmail’ is a sharp idea so, so very let down! Irrfan Khan, Kirti Kulhari and… Urmila Matondkar’s item song don’t really help. The action is underwhelming, and the film thoroughly boring. I am going with 1.5 stars out of 5 for ‘BlackMail’. The film soughts to acquire multiple identities and ends up in acquiring none. It is subtle failure, but failure, nevertheless.
As an attempt to create an amazing, tempting and beautiful superhero and give her some real action and real tasks to live upto, ‘Captain Marvel’ is a success. The film really excites me as what fireworks will happen when Captain Marvel shall join Avengers to avenge the fallen in ‘Endgame’.
And that’s certainly because of Brie Larson’s very magical performance. She sucks life into the character, making her fierce light count. The special effects also give her wings.
But unfortunately, the writing of the film isn’t sharp and feminist enough. Not half as much as the character herself. The film drags considerably in the first half, and the second half juat builds upon, ‘damage-repairing’. It’s intent is slowed down. Let’s face it Shazam, who is the male, ‘Captain Marvel’ from DC, is far more genuine fun than her.
But you can watch ‘Captain Marvel’ because despite its shortcomings, its a little bit fun also. I am going with two-and-a-half for ‘Captain Marvel’. Feminist enough, but so very weak!
Lamp with No fire...
‘Aladin’ is an interesting attempt and a faithful live action that turns lame after the first few minutes itself, only that we realize this in the slow-paced climax. It doesn’t have the fizz and action which animated the old animated film of the nineties. Moreover, it gave me Will Smith as the most memorable supporting character in a live action, as well as a charming Naomi Scott as Jasmine, who, since the time the original came, is my favourite Disney Princess. So its a two and a half stars for ‘Aladdin Live Action’. Only half-recommended.
‘A Star is Born’ is certainly a flawless musical love story. But the makers are so overwhelmed by the film’s charm that they forget to mend the small bumps of the film’s most intimate moments. It is a glamorized adaptation which will bind you to your seats and enjoy the flavorful chemistry between its actors, but it is certainly overdrawn.
But it is certainly the film which soars in style, and has no dearth of form even if it has abundance of feelings. I’m going with 2.5 out of 5 for ‘A Star is Born’. It is a lovely love story but it certainly finds comfort only in the familiar.