• The wedding film India needs

    Anand L. Rai’s sequel to the 2011 mediocre wedding drama has not changed the title, and added a word. But the same can also be said about the film as a whole. The intent is still out there, but the comment and tonality is sharper, more rustic this time. And it’s double fun, and entertainment is all guns blazing! (Yeah, I’m too excited). Set in Kanpur as always, the four years leap says Tanu and Manu have separated ways after a quirky scene at a mental asylum. Kangana Ranaut in what is the best performance by an actress this year plays Tanuja, a woman with a strong will and Haryana’s Kusum, a headstrong hockey player who knows what she’s doing with her life. The film is a crowd-pleaser in the best sense of word, and gives us two leading ladies to root for, Kangana×2!

    January 25, 20
  • Sujoy Ghosh’s ‘Badla’ is a smart and unpredictable thriller that has got most of it’s texture right. The craft is perfect and so is the casting of the female characters. But the other cast is all over the place. Watch ‘Badla’ to see how even a simplistic thriller can be hugely enjoyable provided that the writing is layered and the ideas are all right.

    January 16, 20
  • Although some of the dialogue in the film is genuinely witty, largely it’s an insipid, boring and sputtering propaganda sermon.

    January 16, 20
  • Ashwin Sarvanan’s deliciously twisted and meticulously crafted psychological thriller ‘Game Over’ knows all the layers and pluses and minuses of the mix-mash of the genres, and knows the key term of each of them ‘Originality’. Taapsee Pannu and Vinodini Vaidyanath do all the impact ful strands quiet closely together so that the film is committed to its surroundings. The Rashomon-style climatic sequence will send chill down your spine, but also exposes the vulnerability and emotional confidence of the film. Although it’s not each and every character is designed to do something to the film: Swapna and killers only could have done: but it’s only the magic of the execution of the non-linear narrative that the phenomenal paranormal and supernatural and feminist: each and every element works. Although there can be many readings for the film, I’ll remember it as a revenge drama with a slasher at it’s edges, all sharp. It’s an essential Non-Hindi film I recommend to see.

    January 11, 20
  • Had it stayed a history lesson, or Aashutosh Gowariker’s familiar arc of a ‘cinematic historian’, I would have still considered Mohenjo Daro as a mildly frustrating, entirely watchable kind of a film.
    But the consistencies wear out so rapidly and the performances of the able cast are so badly blended into a nothing type script that it comes into a special category close to everyone’s heart, “You know, it’s so bad that it’s good”. That only makes ‘Mohenjo Daro’ a must NOT watch. Please skip it, or take a capsule of disprin if you must. It’s a whole barrel of frustrating romances or bad headgear.

    December 27, 19
  • The sky is bleached of all the hues in ‘Sonchiriya’, which, very specifically, is a bloody Abhishek Chaubey film. By an Abhishek Chaubey film, I mean a sincere ensemble of performances foiling the most insignificant of the bumps in storytelling. No, seriously! We have seen him tickling our funny bone with Naseeruddin-Arshad-Vidya starrer ‘Ishqiya’, doubling the woman power with Naseer, Arshad and Madhuri Dixit and Huma. In ‘Udta Punjab’, he elevated the talent with Diljeet, Shahid, Alia and Kareena.
    But this time, he transcends the boundaries of a talented star-craft, with Bhumi Pednekar, Sushant Singh Rajput, Manoj Bajpayee, Ranvir Shorey and Ashutosh Rana taking leads and playing dacoits-in-distress, India, 1975. Chambal burns in the fire of Indira Gandhi’s emergency, and after seven years of ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ we have another spirited, finely delved in story of daakus and their reason for killing. We are not specifically introduced to the characters, they practically present them. ‘Sonchiriya’ is a must watch because nothing’s more enticing than a Bollywood people speaking in rustic language of badlands. Well, even Gangs of Wasseypur was well-versed in language. But what makes it special is the qualified approach, this one uses practically 1% Hindi. Chaubey diligently uses his casting choice to every limitless quotient, and has well-made a drama about humans, not butchers as they seem. This is a prapt from the daaku dramas we’ve seen in Bollywood. It also celebrates them, in a quiet way.

    December 25, 19
  • The sky is bleached of all the hues in ‘Sonchiriya’, which, very specifically, is a bloody Abhishek Chaubey film. By an Abhishek Chaubey film, I mean a sincere ensemble of performances foiling the most insignificant of the bumps in storytelling. No, seriously! We have seen him tickling our funny bone with Naseeruddin-Arshad-Vidya starrer ‘Ishqiya’, doubling the woman power with Naseer, Arshad and Madhuri Dixit and Huma. In ‘Udta Punjab’, he elevated the talent with Diljeet, Shahid, Alia and Kareena.
    But this time, he transcends the boundaries of a talented star-craft, with Bhumi Pednekar, Sushant Singh Rajput, Manoj Bajpayee, Ranvir Shorey and Ashutosh Rana taking leads and playing dacoits-in-distress, India, 1975. Chambal burns in the fire of Indira Gandhi’s emergency, and after seven years of ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ we have another spirited, finely delved in story of daakus and their reason for killing. We are not specifically introduced to the characters, they practically present them. ‘Sonchiriya’ is a must watch because nothing’s more enticing than a Bollywood people speaking in rustic language of badlands. Well, even Gangs of Wasseypur was well-versed in language. But what makes it special is the qualified approach, this one uses practically 1% Hindi. Chaubey diligently uses his casting choice to every limitless quotient, and has well-made a drama about humans, not butchers as they seem. This is a prapt from the daaku dramas we’ve seen in Bollywood. It also celebrate them,

    December 25, 19
  • This is an unmistakably bland attempt to a period drama which can’t even correct it’s entertainment. Saif Ali Khan delivers a bizarre performance as a Naga Sadhu and the experiment, however interesting it might have been, didn’t work for me. The weakest link though is Zoya Hussain, the interesting ‘Mukkabaz’ debutant. I didn’t expect such a bad act from an otherwise very interesting actress. Deepak Dobriyal is the strongest, the most out-and-out thing from an otherwise bland historical thriller which fails it’s characters repeatedly.

    December 20, 19
  • Fan Service, Done-To-Death!

    I didn’t expect ‘Dabangg’ franchise to lose fizz… But honestly when I saw that the film has been directed by Prabhudeva and it has Salman himself on the writing team, I was sure that it’s nothing more than serviceable fan-based entertainment with special biase towards Chulbul Pandey. But even when watched with modest expectations, ‘Dabangg 3’ can’t match the nonstop entertainment of ‘Dabangg’ and matchless sound-and-light show presented by an otherwise average ‘Dabangg 2’. You cannot relish this prequel which is even more colourful than both the more grounded, rustic two films. This first has weakened the future which we ‘enjoyed’.

    December 20, 19
  • Fan Service, Done-To-Death!

    I didn’t expect ‘Dabangg’ franchise to lose fizz… But honestly when I saw that the film has been directed by Prabhudeva and it has Salman himself on the writing team, I was sure that it’s nothing more than serviceable fan-based entertainment with special biase towards Chulbul Pandey. But even when watched with modest expectations, ‘Dabangg 3’ can’t match the nonstop entertainment of ‘Dabangg’ and matchless sound-and-light show presented by an otherwise average ‘Dabangg 2’. You cannot relish this prequel which is even more colourful than both the more grounded, rustic two films. This first has weakened the future which we ‘enjoyed’.

    December 20, 19
  • Neeraj Pandey’s ‘Baby’ is an edge-of-the-seat spy thriller which will keep you thrilled throughout the running time. The film doesn’t have the heft of originality which ‘Special 26’ had as a speciality, but it’s a film that’s as much entertaining. Akshay Kumar is in a raw form here- and it might be his most gripping, heroic performance. Taapsee Pannu makes an assured debut. Watch her as she kicks the butt of the enemies. There are many such bits on screens, and these bits make you glued to the screens. It’s an immensely enjoyable and entertaining film which has a concrete- if not coherent- script. But most importantly, it’s weakness isn’t jingoism.

    December 15, 19
  • ‘Life of Pi’ is a brilliant achievement, and it’s not simplistic storytelling which mends itself in the most exciting, boundless ways. It’s that, but in the form of visual-storytelling. The events of a ‘Pi Patel’s in real life might be closely disturbing, but the film takes a flight of fancy. The way the animals cooperate with humans can only be the incredible imagination of the fantastical ‘Rhythm and Hues’, also responsible for the great cinematography of the film. The past and future in between the story has been captured in authentic grimness. The grip has also been exerted by the excellent casting choice of Kaufman, who selects the right actors: Adil Hussain has not been given much to do, but Tabu brings heft and affection in a short, crisp role as the mother. Ultimately, the performance of Suraj Sharma might, in fact, come as a loose one, but ultimately even he is provided cover by a strong Irfan Khan who surprises in even familiar notes. Watch ‘Life of Pi’ for a visually brilliant joyride at cinema screens. Regret would be far.

    December 13, 19
  • ‘Three Billboards’ is nothing short of a winner. It is a boundlessly entertaining film that keeps you hooked despite a flimsy cultural and ethnically one-note entry. It is about the struggle of a mother- a protest language, which comes as a harbinger of the kind of cinema that does theme-tackling in a structural, surprisingly optimistic way. But that is only the prowess of the writing by Martin McDonagh, who infuses clichés and re-defines the textbook with textures. Frances McDormand is the best actress of this year, with ensuring that Mildred Hayes stays with you, for you, forever. She can easily be one of the soul characters of Hollywood. Sam Rockwell’s officer Dixon has a another kind of complex- you may like it or beg to differ. Any ways, his name’s quiet bloody hilarious, it sounds like ‘dick son’! With all these, Woody Harreison plays officer Willoughby to his prowess: (spoilers ahead) when he dies and one of the billboards of Mrs. Hayes fails, it dials enough emotional resonance and clicks the right buttons of story-telling. Arrive twists like disruption of Dixon and unlawful ways by which the authorities function, and you feel the beat of why the drama has been structured to stay with you.
    The ethnical variations mostly arrive to nuanced structures. And that’s a considerable strength to undermine the film’s a little kinda flawed intent. Watch ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’s if you want to see what a fine winning film looks like. It’s one of the best films of the decade, and for that, it’s essential viewing.

    December 13, 19
  • A breezy romantic, if turns unintentionally funny and ridiculous- it’s the worst that can happen to it. And it’s not about how much layers the character have been pushed in. Kajal Aggarwal and Randeep Hooda are decent, and for the most of the part- are real things. One and a half stars. But all let down by amusingly bad direction and writing especially done by Deepak Tijori, a director, who let’s just say it, is a burden on Bollywood. Please Tijori, that was the only chance we give you. No more movies!

    December 13, 19
  • ‘Rudhramadevi’ over-worships it’s patriotic and highly jingoistic lead. Instead of a sober research on her life, the director commits a bad mistake of using a smug, stale script and infusing it with token white people. I was laughing on the climax which was unintentionally so funny- that the Persian ruler crowns his daughter and owes by the name of Rudhramadevi. While there are some decent war scenes and thanks to the stinging performance of Anushka Shetty as a lead: a deft, reasonably good part of shouting voice that helps, but that might be the only decent thing about a terrible film which makes it’s solid female lead a bore rather than celebrating her as a woman, as a warrior, and, textbook cliché lover.

    December 06, 19
  • ‘Panipat’ directed by Ashutosh Gowariker doesn’t match the romantic consistencies which made ‘Jodha Akbar’ a stunning film which infused real emotions and it doesn’t carry the research which made ‘Lagaan’ a great History movie with engrossing and deft-for-the-most-part fiction. But you must remember how much our expectations went downbeat as we watched ‘Mohenjodaro’. I recall watching the movie with high expectations, lowering them in the second half and making a bad face exiting from the theatre. This wasn’t the case in ‘Panipat’. The visual effects are sloppy and the emotions are of soap opera, but the excellent main cast does the job solidly. Parvati Bai is almost the seventy percent match to Bhansali’s iconic Kashibai, and Arjun Kapoor is immensely enjoyable as Sadashiv Rao Bhau. Padmini Kolhapuri and Zeenat Amaan are terrific. There’s also ibrat music and scintillating war scene which replicates the battle with stringing nationalistic highs. It isn’t a befitting jingoistic film, a nationalistic on, or something which is a staunch devotee of its Maratha sanskriti. But as a piece of political resonance in modern times, it mostly does it’s job with strong, restrained dramatic strands.
    And how can that be a bad thing?

    December 06, 19
  • The film ‘Jagga Jasoos’ is caricaturish, and at a point indulgent. But it also comes with rich, fervent imaginativeness and straightforward story feeling. That’s why it is worth watching.

    December 05, 19
  • ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaraa’ is a sweet, harmlessly fun buddy drama which unfolds at a luxurious pace. The road trips here become the unforgettable journeys of life and life itself is a harmonious concoction of enjoyment and comraderie. Although the script has little to rely upon, and the performances too aren’t as solid as they SHOULD have been, but Zoya Akhter makes it work with her light, warm observation. She doesn’t overstuff the film with ridiculousness and gives it a hint of beauty and garnishing of romance. Go watch ‘ZNMD’. I had a smile plastered on my face watching it.

    November 29, 19
  • Watch ‘Frozen’, because it might be Disney’s most enjoyable, animated and freshly original and homegrown fairytale this decade. Emma and Elsa, Olaf and the boys shall stay with you long after you’ve left the halls. Best enjoyed with a mug of hot chocolate and a santa cap on head. The wintry shades might be devisive and distractive, but largely the storytelling is absorbing and the message shall consume you as an audience. The film has a story well written and well told. There are oodles of laughter in the way in which the narrative strands function, and you’ll tear up many a times.

    November 26, 19
  • The mindless, masala humor is an excuse to cover up the obvious blandness of ‘Pagalpanti’. Although it has some terrific comic shots and a particularly interesting ensemble star cast, the film has nothing else to rely upon. Tonnes of boring moments and easy dissatisfaction through the blandness will ruin your experience at the cinemas. AND I have seen it, so it’s not like I am judging it: but there’s also loads of sexism here. Easily one of the worst by Anees in his career.

    November 26, 19