Category Archives: Drama

Parasite Review

Parasite Review Parasite is a South Korean black comedy movie released in 2019. The movie explores the significant divide in a society based on the socio-economic background through the two families at extreme ends of financial status.

Director Bong Joon-Ho has attained legendary status and like all his previous movies this one too left me with an awe for the number of layers this simple black comedy had and its reflection on the subject it deals with. Every frame has been thoughtfully constructed to create a visual representation of the core theme of the movie. As Kim’s son always say it is metaphorical.

  1. The long staircase Kim’s family takes down to reach their house when they return from the house of the Park family.
  2. A house that doesn’t let visitors walk inside the gate without permission to the sub-basement makeshift house where people pee outside the window without any remorse.
  3. A family thanking the rains for it has made the city greener to the family that had to spend a night at the gym among hundreds of people as their house got flooded with shit due to the rains.

As the movie begins at the poor man’s dwelling in a sub-basement, with the family discussing the wifi connection which they were connecting to now has a password, you tend to think the family living in the basements are parasites metaphorically. And as they all get placed in various jobs at Park’s house this feeling is more cemented. Here is the genius of Bong Joon Ho where he makes you feel a certain way and leaves you guilty for the thought process as the movie progresses and you are truly confused about who or what the real parasites are. The same treatment I had very much enjoyed in his movies Memories of Murder and Mother.

Song Kang-Ho yet again delivers a stellar performance. He can just transform into any role just like that. The treatment of the script through comedy just falls in his comfort zone and he delivers it with ease. All the characters in the movie are well written and their character arc as the movie progresses is beautifully constructed.

High Points: Brilliant screenplay and narration. The metaphorical construction of the scene that goes well with the theme of the movie. Performance of the actors.

Low Points: Hardly any low points for this movie

Overall Parasite is yet another legendary work by Bong Joon-Ho. It grows on you through powerful visual storytelling and some brilliant screenwriting. If you get a chance to watch this in any film festivals don’t miss it.

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Super Deluxe Review

Super Deluxe Review – Super Deluxe is a Tamil neo-noir film released in 2019. The story follows the lives of 3 different set of people dealing with different taboos in life and how each of their life influences the outcome of the other.

It is almost impossible to write a review of Super Deluxe without giving away the plot. So if you haven’t watched the movie, do watch it before you continue reading this review.

There are movies that you walk into the theater with a different expectation in mind and the movie is not even a bit of what you had expected it to be. But later as you sink it in you understand the depth of the plot, the construct, the dialogues and all of a sudden everything falls so perfectly in place that you would want to yell “Wow! What a brilliant movie”. The phrase from the song from Delhi Belly “I hate you like I love you” fits in so perfect for the movie.

If you walk in expecting an Aaranya Kaandam you would be largely disappointed. Rather if you let Super Deluxe be it what it is supposed to be then you would appreciate the nuances and the beauty of the neo-noir film. There are actually 4 different threads of the plot that is intelligently arranged in so that it becomes a compelling tale.

You might feel why are you watching it as you start watching it for it is going to make you uncomfortable by breaking all the rules. As you watch it till the end it leaves a great after taste that you can savor for long.

Through the 4 different tales, director Thiagarajan Kumararaja questions the very sense of right or wrong, good or evil. Just like how the day merges into the night and the night into the day, good merges with evil and the vice versa. Time can alter how things are perceived. He questions the existence of God in a statue, while he is making the curse of a Eunuch become true. A girl having an extramarital affair doesn’t mean that she is characterless. Porn stars are there to perform as the market for porn is out there. Who is to be blamed? He even teases the whole plot by getting in an Alien. As you just begin thinking what an absurdity, the alien questions your very thought process by telling, “Why do you think Aliens would just come to America?”. The climax though a bit preachy but a brilliant one as you see the gem of the advice coming in through the narrator in the porn movie who explains the meaning of life and everything. He teases the audience there too, by telling you might just end up thinking of this as a porn movie and miss the essence of it.

High Points: The performances of Vijay Sethupathi, Samantha, Fahad Fasil and the kid Ashwath. The plot and the questions around stereotype that is embedded in the plot. The quirky dialogues in the movie. The Climax, the Cinematography.

Low Points: The length of the movie and the complex plot would have been a let down for many. But if you love the movie you will feel it justified.

Overall, Super Deluxe is a movie that beats the logic of the predictable formula in movies. You might have seen such brilliant non-linear work with Tarantino, Frank Miller, and Guy Ritchie. Thiagarajan Kumararaja does it for a Tamil movie that is going to yet again become a cult hit like his first outing.

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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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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

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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Pariyerum Perumal Review

Pariyerum Perumal Review – Pariyerum Perumal is a Tamil drama released in 2018.  Pariyan is a youth from a village who aspires to become a lawyer and joins law school. As he struggles with English, a girl in his class named Jo helps him out with it. But their friendship does not go well with her family as Pariyan is from the oppressed caste.

The movie is very intensive right from the beginning and brings out the darker side of casteism based divide in the society. In the first few minutes of the movie the plot line becomes clear as Pariyan’s beloved dog (Karuppi) becomes victim of the caste based fight. The stereotypical social practices come into light during various scenes in the movie like the one where he sits in the back bench, Different glasses are given in the tea shop based on the caste, People do not sit in the bus near a oppressed caste person,  honor killing, Law college not teaching in local language although there is provision for taking exams in the local language. The desperation of folks from oppressed caste not able to lead a simple life by not getting into any fights is depicted well. The closing shot of two tea glasses on the same table is an aspiration from the film maker.

The character of the old man who is a mason and assassin used for honor killings is definitely portrayed very well and brings in thrills in many scenes. The lead actors Kathir and Anandhi have performed well. Yogi Babu brings in some laughs in an otherwise a very serious script. Also he is a character who is the representation of folks who do not mind caste of people while Anandhi’s character is of a person who is ignorant of the whole problem. Each of the characters highlight various facets of the society which is quite brilliant writing. Director Mari Selvaraj backed by Producer Pa. Ranjith definitely scores high in his first movie.

High Point: Very strong script on the prevailing issue of casteism, The script not falling for the stereotypical gangster uprising, the characterization of the lead pairs, the mason and Anand played by Yogi Babu.

Low Point: The raw violence may not suit all audience although the film is rated as suitable for all ages.

Overall Pariyerum Perumal is a hard hitting movie that asks tough questions against the caste based social divide in the society. If you love intriguing realistic drama, then this one is a Must watch for you.

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