• For what it’s worth, Baaghi 3 (Rebel) does give some form of entertainment with its ultra-high-octane action that is based on an illogical and borderline slapstick story line and setting that is perhaps the hallmark of the trilogy if you manage to ignore the obvious issues that were apparent even before you began to consider watching it. TN.

    June 04, 20
  • Kunal Khemu shines in Malang (Loco), a revenge drama lined with cheesy romance and philosophy that takes itself far too seriously for its own mistakes, one of which is the terrible performance of Disha Patani and an overall loose screenplay. TN.

    June 04, 20
  • I was impressed by James McAvoy’s ultra performance as a person with dissociative identity disorder and his ability to quickly change from one personality to another at a click of two fingers but I was largely unimpressed by director Shyamalan’s slow-paced first 90 minutes in Split where nothing really happens. TN.

    April 12, 20
  • It looks like the only reason to rehash this old wine and present it in a new and sexier bottle was to add the preachy and superficial didacticism that you will find in the second half of this romance drama that is high on comedy and punchy one-liners but fails to pass the muster because of the double standards it has that was evident in the final dialogue. TN.

    April 02, 20
  • The problem with Jawaani Jaaneman (Love My Youth) is that it plays safe with the notion of a solo life where a womanizer bachelor (Saif Ali Khan) well past his prime is forced to experience the family life when a mysterious young woman approaches him with a startling question, making me classify it as just another drama that carries a few genuine laughs for your entertainment. TN.

    March 30, 20
  • Amar Kaushik’s second venture, Bala (given Hindi pet name; hair connotation), is a solidly made comedy drama that commentates about the critical social stigmas currently plaguing the country (and the world) and uses the perfect possible container to deliver it, by centralizing itself around a young balding self-conscious bachelor (Ayushmann Khurrana) from a city in Uttar Paradesh, and providing enough entertainment to sit back and relax but still uses a formulaic approach that dampens the enjoyment and which is, however, second only to the horrendous, unbearable makeup work (on Bhumi Pednekar) involved in it. TN.

    March 27, 20
  • Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore (Loafers), although looks and is like old wine in a new bottle, is like a breath of fresh air in Hindi cinema not because it makes you laugh and takes you back to the good old college days but because it has been written with the social responsibility of teaching today’s generation that life goes on. TN.

    January 15, 20
  • Dream Girl takes a formulaic approach at storytelling (of a man forced to use his feminine voice for employment) climaxing as a comedy of errors that is borderline sexist and discriminating at one point and liberal and pathbreaking at others, I was confused where the interests of director Raaj Shaandilyaa lay, but the one thing that I’m sure is about the comedy that he and his writers manage to generate. TN.

    December 15, 19
  • The Zoya Factor has a small list of positives, one of which is that it samples the superstitious beliefs that (Indian) cricketers have, and it is interesting to see how deep it is in the core, but then the lacklustre, cliched plot aggravated by Sonam Kapoor’s buffoon-like performance (and only saved by Dulquer Salmaan) takes all the fun out of the film making you cringe with despair. TN.

    December 06, 19
  • Judgementall Hai Kya (Are You Judgemental?) has been made in a way a five-year-old kid would play with water colours when his parents are not looking and what has indeed resulted in a fancy, colourful, and intriguing painting but is bereft of structure, logic, and element of pity that are so central to it being received well and liked by an audience. TN.

    October 27, 19
  • Despite the hardcore and jumpscare violence, the so-so portrayal of mental illness and its consequences when it goes untreated, the eerie score played on repeat, great dialogues 90% of which are polished as punchlines, the brilliant backstory of the DC universe, and a charming performance (of a life time) by Joaquin Phoenix, Joker was an underwhelming crime drama for me. TN.

    October 09, 19
  • For a film titled War and which was released in India on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi who advocated non-violence throughout his adult life, when you look closely into the plot, there’s not even a modicum of war element in the film. Everything that you see is what can be described as a precursor of a war (presumably between two differing nations), unless the makers want to heighten the stature of the hostility between the two soldiers and project it as war when it is merely an advanced form of paintball battle with disloyal teammates. Maybe that is it. TN.

    (Review originally appeared in the Little India Directory (Singapore).)

    October 06, 19
  • I don’t remember the last time I gave a film a full rating but I’m just positive about why A Death in the Gunj (A Death in the Echo) demands it from me. It’s simply a a fabulous film that takes its sweet time to unfold through its atmospheric appeal, set in remote Bihar and with a stellar cast you wonder how the director got them together, narrating the depressing story of a young, taciturn man with demons in his mind and loneliness on his face. More than anything – and this drama is about many things – the film highlights the influence people have on other people. The final five minutes took my breath away and I’m confident it will make you think about depression, extroversion, sex, and longing. Konkona Sensharma’s debut feature A Death in the Gunj is a masterpiece and easily one of my top 3 Hindi films of the 2010 decade. It’s crisp, it’s exotic, it’s fantastic. TN.

    October 02, 19
  • Khandaani Shafakhana (Family-Owned Sex Clinic) aspires to convey a good message (that of sex education to the masses (interior India)) but fails to do so because of its uninspiring screenplay, crass jokes (mainly by Varun Sharma), and a snail-paced narrative that takes the formulaic approach of a good-intentioned woman (Sonakshi Sinha) being assumed evil by the society for being ‘obscene’. For anyone who has been closely following Bollywood, this social dramedy will be reminiscent of other films in recent times chafing the same topic and it is just amazing how much you can predict what’s going to happen with the same prejudiced family members, the good Samaritan protagonist, his well-wishing stranger-turned-friend, and the evil corporations. Even Sinha acts like the way she has been acting since after her Dabangg (2010) days. There’s no novelty in Khaandaani Shafakhana save for its catchy name, and with that preachy undertone and mocking courtroom sequence at the end, it just adds to it being just below average. The content is good but just falls short of being handled with finesse and imagination. Badshah should probably stick to rapping. TN.

    October 01, 19
  • Blank is the type of movie that shows why a decent story needs a slightly more decent filmmaking (direction, writing, and performances) to come out as something that is remotely watchable for even the average audience, regardless of its theme and the X-factor. TN.

    September 16, 19
  • It will take a little extra patience from you but Hamid (given Urdu name) delivers as a heartwarming film about looking for closure in your personal life when things become difficult as does for this young school-going kid in this social drama who decides to take it up with god to find answers. TN.

    September 15, 19
  • In an attempt to take the story of the immortal assassin Baba Yaga ahead, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum unleashes a flurry of tedious actions sequences that just do not end and makes the viewer go numb which is still not as worse as the lack of heroism available here to relish, the very heroism that made the first two films likable. TN.

    September 09, 19
  • There’s some real wisdom thrown around in Fakir of Venice (Monk of Venice), a story of a downtrodden building painter (Annu Kapoor) who is hired by an unscrupulous and opportunistic young man (Farhan Akhtar) to fake act as a religious ascetic from India as part of an art exhibition in Venice. The narrative introduction from the point of view of the man cements his character as snobbish as you are taken into the journey from India to Italy where the exhibitionists and connoisseurs fall for the grace of this monk who can stay trapped underground for hours at a time. Kapoor and his character steal the show as they shine light into the world of petty jobs in India and elsewhere in the world. “The world doesn’t let us work and live peacefully, does it?” quips a character when asked about why anyone would sleep under mud for a living and why there has to be a vigilant second person when someone does a stunt like that. A bit of self-reflection is also a part of Fakir of Venice as one of the character says, “I didn’t know dying would be so difficult,” but then the good points of the film comes to an end as the narrator goes on and on about why he did what he does, making you anxious with boredom. Looking at the Venetian locales is a treat but the lack of fluidity and coherence makes Fakir of Venice a film that should have stayed maybe even 10 more years back in time, in 1999. TN.

    September 07, 19
  • Nikkhil Advani’s Batla House gets repetitive as you move ahead following John Abraham’s gritty yet helpless cop character (bound by red tape) who uses his gut feelings and little investigation to go behind a bunch of students who might be terrorists. The problem with this film based on true events is that despite not wanting to it takes a stand at the end and that’s not the best way to produce a film based on true events especially when those events are still rife with debates. Nonetheless, the little bit of police procedural and action sequences are enough to keep you occupied in the first hour if you are a fan of Abraham, cop films, or the sound of gun shots ringing in your hear. Ravi Kisan steals the show with his 10 minutes of screen time, no doubt. TN.

    September 01, 19
  • There is an overlying sense of artificiality in the way Mission Mangal (Mars Mission) has been made, with abundant textbook techniques to mix comedy and drama into the proceedings of a vastly technical subject such as an organization’s attempt to send a satellite on the Martian orbit. It ends up as a series of cringe-worthy sequences. For a film that demands realism as the only single factor, Mission Mangal strays away from it right from the word go! as we see the actors fooling around in office and wherever they go. It’s a good idea by writer R Balki to refer home science as the solution to issues hampering space travel but the way they have been dramatized makes the discerning viewer coil in anger and disgust. Melodrama takes the limelight in the film that can be best characterized as a lackluster take on a historic feat, that only gets worse as you proceed watching it, eventually leading you to a specific scene where a gang of inebriated Isro scientists brawl in a metro car all of which reeks of self-righteousness. Mission Mangal is a mockery of the very subject that it pays homage to. There’s no reason to spend any money on this and I would instead recommend going through the Wikipedia page of the actual mission instead. TN.

    August 19, 19