Category Archives: Drama

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.

Must Watch

 

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.

Must Watch

Ali’s Wedding Review

Ali’s Wedding Review – Ali’s Wedding is an English movie produced in Australia. The movie revolves around a Iranian family settled in Australia. Ali the youngest son in the family tells a lie due to social pressure and the events that the lie leads to is the rest of the movie.

The movie starts off on a empty field that leads to a vineyard where a guy in a groom costume is driving a stolen tractor to get to the airport but is chased by cops. The beginning certainly gives the taste of what you can expect. From then on it is a roller coaster ride of fun. You get a glimpse into the lifestyle and culture of the Iranian family. The movie overall has a very funny tone and deals how simple expectations from life can alter the way one can lead life. It also has a satirical take on how rest of the world views people from middle-east. Even the deportation scene from the US  is hilarious.

The family values have striking similarity with Asian families and this lets you connect with the movie very well. The movie also takes a dig at how the old systems and beliefs are altered based on convenience in a most comical way.

High Points: The simplistic plot of the movie, the screenplay of the movie, the comic sequences, performances by Osamah Sami, Helena Sawires and Don Hany.

Low Points: There is not many low points in this movie.

If you love movies with comedy of errors plot then Ali’s Wedding is a perfect movie for you. It has all the ingredients that make it a very good comedy film. Overall it is a well made movie that is simple, naive and also emotionally connects well. The movie is on Netflix . Do watch it.

Must Watch

 

Lust Stories Review

Lust Stories Review – Lust Stories is a Hindi anthology film released in 2018. After the successful anthology of Bombay Talkies in 2013, directors Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akthar and Dibankar Banerjee come together yet again to create this new anthology series that explores the theme of lust.

The striking difference in these stories is that lust is explored from a women’s perspective. Each of the stories is bold and the one’s filmmakers dare to deal it in full-length scripts. This one is also in line with the theme of Lipstick under my Bhurka Kudos to the filmmakers to come up such a theme and make a movie around it. The film doesn’t miss a chance to poke fun at the taboo surrounding physical relationship and Indian upbringing. The lead ladies of the stories Radhika Apte, Bhumi Pednekar, Manisha Koirala, Neha Dhupia and Kiara Advani have portrayed their roles very well.

This time Karan Johar goes last and in fact, the order of the films have been reversed in terms of its directors to that of Bombay Talkies. This is probably the second movie made by Karan Johar that I loved after the short film in Bombay Talkies, it brings out the best in him. Without giving a spoiler of plots I wanted to touch upon the few areas that impressed me very much. Anurag has explored a monologue to jump the scenes, he has remained within the three walls of the film space and the monologue of Radhika Apte keeps it under her personal space where she can speak her mind freely. Zoya’s film has Bhumi Pednekar give out a very compelling performance without uttering a dialogue for most parts. She has shown that a normal situation can be made thrilling if you connect the audience to an emotion. Dibankar Banerjee has told many a thing without them being actually said between his characters. Karan Johar has explored one of the most less spoken about topics in a quick-witted manner but still gets his message very clear.

All the situations in the movies are like you hope it doesn’t happen and it happens.

High Points: 4 great directors coming together to make an anthology, exploring the concept of lust from a women’s perspective, the performance of the lead characters.

Low Points: Hardly any

Overall Lust Stories is an anthology that explores areas very less explored in Indian Cinema and does make a statement that would make you think.

The movie is rated 13+ and is available only on Netflix.

Must Watch

Kaala Review

Kaala Review – Kaala is a Tamil crime drama released in 2018. Mumbai’s politician Hari Dhada has hidden agenda of cleaning up Mumbai’s Dharavi to let it open for commercialization, but people of Dharavi protest against it under the leadership of local don Karikaalan.

I was disappointed with the second half of Kabali wherein I felt director Ranjith had a masterpiece in the making but fell flat in the second half. This time in Kaala the screenplay is much tighter and travels towards the purpose. The screenplay also provided a much larger scope for the mass moments of Rajini. Be it the swag of the black dress and shades, not being able to hide his lost love or getting drunk and blabbering in the police station, its out and out Rajini’s moments. He makes all these scenes very enjoyable.

Kaala has a very similar structure to his previous movie Madras. The movie jumps right into the core problem and how the voice of people is not heard in the massive political schemes which are supposed to be for the people. Apart from Rajini the biggest strength of the movie is Nana Patekar. He has played the unapologetic, gruesome villain with ease. His acting and body language are exemplary.

The screenplay does come with its own flaws. The character of Huma Qureshi is very weak and one dimensional. There was a much larger scope for the character but again the writers seem to have struggled with it as they did for Radhika Apte’s character in the second half of Kabali.  The rapper group is becoming a very predictable part for Ranjith’s film which again could have been avoided.

Samuthrakani has played a very good supporting role. It is refreshing to see him explore different roles other than being typecast into roles that shout out social messages. Eswari Rao makes a good pair to Rajini. She has a lot of scope in the first half and the way her character has been sketched is very nice. It is also refreshing to see Dileepan playing a significant role after Vathikuchi.

The subtext of the movie is about the perception people carry regarding the slums. Ranjith has questioned the stereotypes. If we talk about Dharavi or the North Madras slum, we remember movies like Nayagan, Thalapathy, Pudupettai which stereotypes the areas as the hub of crime. Pa Ranjith’s Kaala paints the picture of more life and family values in the slum, unlike the popular stereotypes.

High Points: Rajini’s charisma and screen presence, Nana Patekar’s acting, Mass moments of Rajini and Nana Patekar, a very compelling subtext of the movie, the climax sequence, brilliant cinematography, editing and art design to recreate Dharavi.

Low Points: Huma Qureshi’s character build-up, too much violence in the second half might upset many audiences, some components that are becoming too predictable in a Pa Ranjith’s movie.

Overall Kaala is a compelling tale about the slums beyond our perceptions and beliefs. Pa Ranjith is very sincere in what he believes and has the ability to narrate it in a compelling way. Ram killed Raavan and established Ram Rajya for making people’s lives better, but is that what the people wanted is essentially the question the movie asks. If you like crime dramas then do watch this one in the theaters.

Must Watch

Ali The Goat and Ibrahim Review

Ali, The Goat and Ibrahim Review – Ali, The Goat and Ibrahim ( Ali Mizah wa Ibrahim ) is an Arabic comedy drama film released in 2016. Ali a man who considers his goat Nada as his fiancee and Ibrahim a sound engineer who hears disturbing sounds in his ears meet at a clinic and embark on a journey together to find cure.

I watched this movie in the Bangalore International Film Festival 2018. The movie has a very interesting plot. Director Sharif El-Bindari has created the character of Ali and Ibrahim very well and makes us fall in love with them. You cannot fully understand the suffering of someone until you are in their shoes is an underlying message of this comedy drama. Right from the first shot the movie has a subtle reference to the prejudiced world that goes based on appearance and behavior. Police detain Ali for carrying a Teddy Bear suspecting it to be a smuggling racquet while they miss capturing a gang of folks kidnapping a women. Even Ali himself is seen having some prejudice about Ibrahim during their trip.

At time you would feel Ali is doing bit too much of being obsessed with Nada the goat. He can’t take any one calling his Nada as goat and he furiously. The journey puts them through various trials and builds a strong bond between them until some unexpected turn of events.

The lead actors portraying Ali and Ibrahim have done well. There are many moments you would laugh and the climax tops it all and makes you feel good. Nada the goat is yet another lovable animal character on screen.  Although there are some cliched moments in the film, it still makes it a very enjoyable ride.

Overall Ali, The Goat and Ibrahim is a feel-good movie that would make you laugh and fall in love with life.

Must Watch

Aruvi Review

Aruvi Review – Aruvi is a Tamil social drama film released in the year 2017. Aruvi a girl is being interrogated for her involvement in an incident that puts her under suspicion of being a terrorist.

A team of new faces has come together as a team to create a movie that is very sincere to the script and the plot. Without any commercial frills, the movie has the material that would keep the audience engaged throughout. The most striking performance comes from the lead star Aditi Balan who has performed the role with ease and she creates an impact that was intended by the role. The first 20 minutes of the movie revolves around the growing up phases of Aruvi with flashback sequences. Songs and humming have been used as the part of the background score for these sequences, that has striking contrast against the present day dark and gloomy interrogation.  The growing up phase through a series of montages brilliantly covers the growing phase of a girl. This one is a fantastic example of using visual language to precisely convey the story on screen. The entire growing up phase is compressed into a ten-minute sequence without any explicit narration.

The holding back of suspense of what bought Aruvi to the place she is in right now has been handled brilliantly. Though an emotionally heavy subject, the director has handled by adding some humor to it like how Aruvi sees her life despite the condition she is in. Kudos to the director Arun Prabhu Purushothaman for handling a very sincere script with new faces so well.  Also, the movie is not at all preachy with some message.

High Points: A very strong script, no unnecessary commercial cliches, performance of Aditi Balan

Low Points: Any low points can be easily forgotten and forgiven due to the good execution of the script.

Overall Aruvi is a very sincere attempt that would go a long way in setting an example of how a script based on the story without commercial cliches and without being preachy would still work well with the audience.

Must Watch – for the novel attempt