Category Archives: Genre

Tel Aviv On Fire Review

Tel Aviv On Fire Review – Tel Aviv On Fire is an Arabic comedy-drama released in 2018. Salam is a Palestinian living in Jerusalem. He is working on a Soap opera as a scriptwriter. He gets his plot ideas from the commander at the check post he passes through. As the show becomes popular, the commander wants the climax to be changed the way he wants.

Director Sameh Zoabi has crafted a witty screenplay at the backdrop of a socially tense situation. The movie is hilarious right from the first shot. The scenes shift from the soap opera to the real life effortlessly. The brilliance in the screenplay makes you interested in progress of both the tales the real story as well as the story of the soap opera.

Kai’s Nashif is very convincing as Salam. His performance is witty and enjoyable. The inspiration he looks for writing the script is quite hilarious and later we see that it has a stronger connection to his life too. Yaniv Bitton steals the show as the commander at the check post. His asks are unexpected and helps in bringing some surprises in the plot.

High Points – The comedy in the script, the background score elevates the scenes, the interwoven plots of soap opera and the real life, ending of the movie is very entertaining

Low Points – Folks who do not like this kind of comedy may not enjoy the movie.

Overall, Tel Aviv On Fire is an entertaining drama, that has a very satirical take on the Soap Operas and also brings the funnier side of people although separated by political system to the forefront.

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The Bra Review

The Bra Review – The Bra is a silent comedy-drama that is shot in Azerbaijan. Train driver Nurlan on his retirement day finds that his train has snagged a blue bra from the neighborhood. He sets on a journey to return the bra to the owner.

They say silence is golden. And it aptly fits the movie for if they have added dialgoues it would have lost its beauty and lost into either a cliched tale or become a gross comedy. People hesitate to speak about the undergarments as they are personal. So making it silent fits well with the plot.

As the movie starts we get to witness the beautiful landscape of Baku in Azerbaijan. The picturesque view of the mountains is equally matched with the sweet characters that are portrayed in the congested township through which the train travels. The boy at the tea shop who warns people every day of the train arriving steals our hearts instantly. Nurlan’s character is well established too as every day he goes back to the township to return the things that were snagged by the train. So it doesn’t come as a surprise when he sets out to return the bra that has been snagged by the train during his last ride.

The entire episode is a laughter riot as he adopts various techniques to return the bra to the owner. His obsession to find the right owner makes the tale very interesting one. The kid at the tea shop joins him in the quest and they make a great team. His efforts lead to unpredictable circumstances and how he eventually finds the owner when all odds are against him forms the rest of the story.

“Miki” Manojlović as Nurlan brings life to the character with his performance. His expressions speak a lot and you don’t feel the need for a language. Director Veit Helmer has dealt with the screenplay very well. The treatment of the movie is so artistic in nature that you don’t feel there are any obscene moments in the film. The cinematography and sound editing is amazing and adds additional charm to the visual. The scene in which Nurlans co-worker practices his musical instrument with running engine sounds is well made.

High Points – The movie being a silent is a high point, the visuals of Baku are breathtaking, performance of  “Miki” Manojlović and the little boy, enjoyable comedy

Low Points – Hardly any low point for this one

Overall, The Bra is a movie for every cinephile. Board this train that takes you through picturesque landscapes and let’s you meet those beautiful people. You will walk out of the screen with a big smile on your face.

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The Guilty Review

The Guilty Review – The Guilty is a Danish thriller released in 2018. Holm, a police officer is assigned to a desk duty while he is being under a disciplinary review. One night he attends to an emergency call from a woman in distress who is being abducted. What happens to be a boring last night of the desk job turns into a long night of desperation and fast-paced action to get her back safely.

I got to watch this movie at 11th Bengaluru International Film Festival http://biffes.in opening night. The movie starts with an extreme closeup shot of a headset and we see Holms attending a distress call. In the next few minutes, we are introduced to the typical life inside a police emergency call room. And very soon you realize you are going to experience the whole movie like that of a cop sitting on a desk and managing things. As you start to wonder if the next eighty minutes will it be interesting, your mind wanders as the call comes in and builds up the visuals as it recreates the scenes from the sound through the headset.

Director Gustav Möller has teased the brain cells into building the images that are as compelling as real scenes. The brilliant sound engineering playing through the Atmos speakers, aids the mind in building some great visuals. How much you would like this movie would depend on how best your mind can build the scenes.

Although the entire movie is on the desk of Holm, you are always on the edge of the seat in the thrilling ride. The director and screenwriters have woven in additional layers of Holm’s personal life crisis into the whole episode which increases the grittiness of the episode and makes you emotionally connect with it. Actor Jakob Cedergren has given a very compelling performance. His expressions on the extreme closeup shots, increases the grittiness of the tale.

High Points – Very gripping screenplay, short duration of the film, brilliant sound engineering, Actor Jakob Cedergren’s splendid performance

Low Points – If you struggle with imagining the visuals then you might find yourself disconnected.

As you walk out of the hall you have a full fledged action thriller. If you love thrillers, this one is a must watch

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Petta Review

Petta Review – Petta is a Tamil action drama released in 2019. Kaali an elderly man joins as a temporary hostel warden in an arts college. There seems to be a hidden agenda behind his move which forms the core plot of Petta.

Petta, a fanboy film of Rajnikanth works its magic in bringing back many nostalgic memories of Rajnikanth movies in terms of shots, action blocks and situations. One big thing that it misses out is on the emotional connection to the character played by Rajnikanth on screen. Barring that it is an out and out entertainer. Like as in flashback sequences for Shankar, twists have become the regular feature in director Karthik Subburaj’s films. Personally, for me, the twists haven’t worked while it seems to have worked with many audiences. The twist of the tale in Jigarthanda and Pizza too did not work for me.

Petta’s first half is a wholesome entertainer, it has comedy, love, action sequences, songs, Thalaivar Swag all making it very enjoyable. The second half narrates an entirely a different story on a different canvas, that almost makes the first half irrelevant to the whole plot. The high orchestration builds up music is generously used in the second half BGM that might have worked well for the first day first show crowd but becomes cloying and making the climax appear to be elongated one. As it has been touted to be the second Baasha of sorts, I can’t resist doing a comparison to the old cult classic which again portrayed a dark side of Rajnikanth. But the first half characters lead back into the flashback as well and when the story connects back all of them are still relevant. That made you connect with the purpose of the lead character. That missed in Petta.

Besides the flaws, Petta is still a well made Tamil film that has many brilliant portions that would make you watch it again. First and foremost is the villaneous avatar of Rajnikanth and he plays it with so much ease and brings a terror on the screen as he gets involved in fights. It was refreshing to see Simran on screen after a long time. You just wished she had more screen time. Nawazuddin is the ideal choice for the Villain, the role is tailor made for him and he plays it to perfection. If you remove the fan flair of Petta, there is a raw gangster tale beneath it, that seems to be a very powerful one and left unexploited for the want of a breezy first half.

High Points: Rajni’s presence, the interval block, entertaining first half, the market fight scene, a Flashback sequence, inclusion of Simran

Low Points: Overuse of the build-up BGM, Twist after twist just for the sake of it

Overall, Petta is a true fanboy flick that captures all fanboy moments in a Rajni film. Lack of emotional connection to the main character makes it fall short of being a milestone movie. Yet there is lots to look for in Petta.

Worth a Watch

Andhadhun Review

Andhadhun Review – Andhadhun is an Indian crime thriller released in 2018. Aakash a pianist who pretends to be blind witnesses the murder of a famous film star, what unfolds next is the plot of Andhadhun.

Director Sriram Raghavan has sketched yet another gripping dark tale with suspense weaved in, that makes it an interesting watch. The story starts with the narration of the protagonist about the events that had happened in the past. Sriram has teased with the usual twists in a typical thriller much ahead in the movie giving you the sense of wondering is what is left. As you begin to wonder what would be left, the movie takes unexpected turns and goes deep down a rabbit hole of complex knots, that makes it more interesting. Ayushman Khuranna and Tabu play a pivotal role in the movie. Tabu has played a badass character with so much ease. The entire sequence at the house of Ayushman Khuranna is one of the brilliantly scripted scenes in the movie. The script reveals the truth at the right moments of time leading to a very engaging climax.

The movie opens with thanking Chitra Geet and Chitra Haar for entertaining us for a long time and ends with the great piano sequences from yesteryear bollywood movie. The music from Amit Trivedi stays up in the game and forms the soul of the movie.

High Points: The script is the strength of the movie, the performances of Tabu and Ayushman Khurana stand out very well, the art design of the locations add to the aesthetic flair of the movie. The background score and songs of Amit Trivedi lightens up even a dull scene.

Low Points: The only weak point of the script is Radhika Apte’s character. It is too shallow and forms too irrelevant for the plot to move forward. 

Overall Andhadhun is a very gripping dark crime thriller that would entertain you. It may not be the movie of epic scale but still would join the list of well written and made dark crime thrillers in Bollywood. This is now available on Netflix.

Worth a Watch

The Invisible Guest Review

The Invisible Guest Review – The Invisible Guest is a Spanish Crime Thriller released in 2016. A Spanish businessman Adrian is arrested for a murder in a hotel room. With all the doors locked and no way to leave the room, nails him as the culprit. But could there have been an invisible guest who could have left the room without a trace?

A good thriller is the one that always thinks ahead of the audience and does not fall into the cliches of McGuffins that had been tried and tested in many thrillers. The Invisible Guest is one such movie that keeps you guessing till the end. Just when you think that you have figured out the plot, the movie takes a different turn, adds an additional knot making the plot complex. In the end, the knot is removed very convincingly.

The tone of the movie is very gritty from the start, with constant gloomy atmosphere reflecting the gloominess in the unsolved mystery. The screenplay is structured brilliantly to removed the monotonous linear narration. It keeps jumping back and forth in the timeline to keep the interest going. Mario Casas has very well fit into the role of Adrian.

High Points: Very gripping screenplay, very convincing end, brilliant performances by the lead actors, cleverly structured non-linear narration.

Low Points: Hardly any low point

Overall, The Invisible Guest has all the ingredients required in a gritty thriller that keeps you guessing till the end. The movie is available on Netflix.

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Tigers Review

Tigers Review – Tigers is an Indian thriller drama released in 2014. A Pakistani Salesman takes on a dairy product giant when he finds out that the product he is selling for them is harmful to kids.

Certain movies that are true gems, unfortunately, live in the realms of film festivals and don’t see light. Tigers is one such movie. The movie, although directed by Danis Tanovic, the director of No Man’s land couldn’t make it to the theaters. Thanks to the digital platforms, this movie is now available on Zee5 for folks to watch.

The movie has a non-linear style of narration where you get to see the life of the salesman Ayan as he is narrating the events that led him to the state of fighting against the corporate giant to a bunch of filmmakers. As the story unfolds, we get to see the life of a lower-middle-class family in Pakistan and Ayan, a very talented salesman is not able to sell medicines manufactured locally as the incentives paid by the MNCs are higher to the pharma and doctors. He then takes up the job in the MNC and becomes a star performer for the employer by building a friendly relationship with doctors, pharmacy owners, nurses to meet his target. The movie gets gripping from the point in time where he learns about the dark secret of the product he sells. The story is truly inspiring.

Emraan Hashmi shines in the role of Ayan and the transformation from a quirky salesman to a rebel is very convincing. The lighting and cinematography are also quite good as it suits the mood of the movie. In particular, the frames captured in the middle-class household and neighborhood takes you into space.

High Points:Very strong storyline, the performance of Emraan Hashmi, Cinematography, Lighting, Social message, length of the movie is 90 minutes and stays to the point, no commercial elements force fitted.

Low Points:Not been marketed well is the only low point of the movie. As the movie uses natural languages spoken by the actors it may cut off a few audiences.

Tigers movie is easily Emraan Hashmi’s power-packed performance after Shangai. If you love realistic movies and social thrillers, do watch this one.

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