• Director Zoya Akhtar somehow always manages to make even the most humdrum of stories into ravishing pieces of art. Gully Boy is no different even if you look at it from the perspective of a person who hopes to see social issues being addressed through cinema. For it also marvelously hints at issues such as social status and inequality and wealth and even (Islamic) polygamy to an extent. The excellent camera work by Jay Oza will make you want to watch it for the second time on the big screen despite of this review. And that is the kind of movies that Akhtar makes, only to find them being watched and rewatched by cinephiles years from now.

    Gully Boy gets everything right and pumps up your mood regardless of what position you are in in your own life, but just thinking about it a few hours after you have seen it will make you realize that it just falls short of becoming something that can be dubbed as extraordinary.

    February 15, 19
  • Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga could have been revolutionary for its basic idea definitely is, but in its current form, owing to an amateur handling by director Dhar and her co-writer Dhaliwal, it “just feels okay” to watch and get it done with. TN.

    February 02, 19
  • Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi definitely has some kinks in it as an epic, packed with some amazing war choreography, resplendent production value, and some good supportive music. But it still qualifies only as an average show thanks to the formulaic approach, tepid storytelling, and some miscasting. TN.

    January 31, 19
  • Even though I am still wondering the point of Uri, a self-boasting, anti-cantankerous film based on actual events, it did not cross my mind till before the second half when I was honestly enjoying Aditya Dhar’s superior craft of war and its storytelling as he gives into the dreamy requirements of every patriotic cinema enthusiast in an action film where Pakistan again plays the bad element for the nth time and Vicky Kaushal moves to the next level of stardom. TN.

    January 20, 19
  • Why Cheat India could have been a lot better had it focused one or two real-life episodes and really delved into its deepest point rather than just summarizing how the anti-education industry looks like. As it is now, there’s no reason for you to waste your time on this. TN.

    January 18, 19
  • There is nothing extraordinary in The Accidental Prime Minister except for how it has been narrated, but I would still recommend it to you because it is at least slightly better than the countless hagiographic biopics we have seen in Bollywood in the past two years alone. This one here is at least honest and occasionally funny. TN.

    Originally reviewed for the Little India Directory.

    January 12, 19
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet starts off really, really well with some very good animation about how the Internet looks as well as picking up from where the outstanding prequel ended in a decent way but it soon becomes a snoozefest consisting mainly of a Disney-themed musical montage involving one of the lead characters as well as a cliched (melodramatic) turn midway in the story that makes it look like an animated film of the early 2000s. TN.

    January 09, 19
  • Just like any other zombie film, Sang-ho Yeon’s Train to Busan starts and ends like you would expect it to be unless you deep dive into the dialogues between the characters that create a much more emotional impact on you. There’s a biomedical threat engulfing the city of Seoul and its neighboring areas when a selfish fund manager has to take his daughter to her mom (they are separated) in Busan. But they don’t know what’s coming to hunt them. How these two characters plus a bunch of other ones try to save themselves from the impulsive zombies forms the crux of this horror thriller that has some insane CGI work to keep you hooked. I watched the Hindi dubbed version (with English subtitles), so naturally the effect was a bit low if you are not a Korean native. But I found Train to Busan to be an emotional drama about relationships and their absence more than it is about a zombie apocalypse. You have to decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. TN.

    November 24, 18
  • Amar Kaushik’s brilliant retelling of a folklore written by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK about a spirit that haunts a village for four days every year and hunts on virile men is one of the most awe-inspiring horror comedies you will see in Bollywood this year, and perhaps this decade, for it also boldly captures the timely essence of the world we live in where predatory men hunt on women. TN.

    November 19, 18
  • More than anger it is the emotion of sadness that Vijay Krishna Acharya’s hat-trick disaster epic period drama Thugs of Hindostan drives in me, watching thespians like Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan resort to tomfoolery and idiocy in the middle of a self-proclaimed freedom fight in the late 1700s whose shaky plot is, as a whole, as restricted as the number of expressions on the faces of the leading ladies, Fatima Shaikh and Katrina Kaif. TN.

    November 12, 18
  • Tumbbad made me sit up from my chair and take notice at how a thriller can be told without resorting to cheap tricks that are prevalent in other titles coming out of the Hindi film industry in recent times. Sohum Shah produces and acts in this fantastic narration of the quality of greed in humans using a folklore about a mythological god-like creature that is itself a symbol of greed. Based on and named after a village in Western India, Tumbbad is told in a way that captures your attention from the first frame and does not let you stray. With some quality performances and an electric background score by none other than Jesper Kyd (I was in tears when I saw his name in the credits), the horror thriller depends on the folklore to carve a story that emphasizes humanity’s greed for everything – from money to food to exclusivity. The amount of references it throws at you – as a period drama set in pre-independence India – is further bound to fascinate you while you get embroiled in one man’s (Shah) quest for greed which he hopes to pass down to his future generations. Tumbbad is nothing like you have seen before and it should be seen on the big screen and revered for its creative art. TN.

    November 03, 18
  • There is some comic relief in Harsh Chhaya’s comedy drama Khajoor Pe Atke which tries to mock the serious issue of death by bringing members of a huge family together to mirror the opportunistic nature of human beings even in times of death and despair but ends up being a tone-deaf escapade that has all the social elements and cliches that we are currently trying to eradicate. TN.

    October 29, 18
  • It baffles me how director Akarsh Khurana can manage to release two films (the other being Karwaan) in a matter of three months and still hope to earn what he spent on them while trying to entertain people who end up watching an aspiring DJ (Sumeet Vyas) become one of the hostages in a flight hijacking situation that is as silly as it can get. TN.

    October 24, 18
  • If you thought Sharat Katariya was the only master household storyteller (who directed Sui Dhaaga this year) then think again. In Badhaai Ho, director Sharma crafts comedy out of thin air; out of routine familial conversations, which is so sweet to watch that it melts in your mouth like the caramel popcorn you prefer while watching such comedy dramas. There is no shortage of such palpable moments in this honest drama that you will complete watching it with a big smile on your face. But, when you go in to watch Badhaai Ho this week, don’t go in to be outsmarted by a relevant story, but instead go in to get your mind blown with a crispy drama that will make you laugh and cry – in a way that Bollywood hasn’t been able to in a lot of years. TN.

    October 20, 18
  • Watching Raj Kumar Gupta’s fantastic thriller, Raid, is like an exercise in suspense that gets better and better as you follow Ajay Devgn’s Income Tax department official raiding the mansion of city’s most corrupt and lovable kingpin (Saurabh Shukla) and not finding what he looks for until predictability hits in and you experience some political movement that reflect close reality of India. TN.

    October 16, 18
  • Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War is perhaps the first superhero movie that takes into account the large number of civilian casualties that these vigilante fellows cause and then try to do something about it, which, along with some spectacular action shots, make it an engaging watch despite the same vigilantes causing a great number of non-human destruction around the world. TN.

    October 06, 18
  • Vikram Bhatt’s 1921 is so extraordinarily bad despite being lavishly produced that even the actors find it difficult to enact their characters, which is very much evident from their dull faces and duller dialogue delivery. TN.

    October 06, 18
  • Andhadhun briefly reminded me of the good old days of silent comedies where everything on the screen was extraordinarily entertaining majorly supported by the score. There’s a scene at the start where Akash is playing the piano and two people in front of him are foolishly resorting to their basic instincts. Not a word is spoken in those 10 minutes and yet it is the perhaps the most memorable scene in the film. It’s pure cinematic brilliance, which unfortunately fades away in the second half as you complete watching the film in labored breathing. TN.

    October 06, 18
  • Sui Dhaaga transforms into a motivational tale that warms your heart with its pleasantness and a lovely play of characters. It is a film that will make you smile all the way – either through the natural humor or the comic drama that it cultivates with brilliance. It might even make you chase that business idea that you dusted off during college days because hope is audacious as ever, much like Mauji and his optimism. Sui Dhaaga is also the first film in a long time where I didn’t mind the ad placements by Usha and Raymond because it felt real, much like most of the film.

    September 29, 18
  • The division in genres into the two halves, sheer horseplay in and outside of the court, and zero proximity to realism are what makes Batti Gul Meter Chalu a coarse, dull film. Much like the issue that it addresses, a lot many parts in the film are akin to darkness, which is not ideal in a world of flashing lights. TN.

    September 22, 18