Category Archives: Drama

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

Mersal Review

Mersal Review – Mersal is a Tamil action drama released in 2017. Maaran a doctor who charges just 5 rupees for treating patients is suspected to be on a spree to kill people in the medical profession.

I watched Mersal after much of the hype around it settled down. There has been a huge expectation on the movie after the success of Theri at the box office. Director Atlee has stuck to only commercial elements that work for any mass hero movies to create Mersal. Vijay has a triple role to play this time.  Evaluating this movie from a commercial mass masala film genre, it falls short of engaging throughout. The story is based on some superficial philosophy and wherever the screenplay drags Atlee has used the dialogues around the glorification of Tamil and Tamilan to appease the audience. However, this does not fit the tale. Too many characters with 3 heroines and 3 Vijay there is very less time on the screen to complete their introduction and get to the story. Although Vijay tells he needs 15 minutes of time to explain the flashback, it actually runs for 45+ minutes and slows down the movie even further. Using the same structure of a 3 act play for the flashback was a bad idea.  If this has been inspired by Aboorva Sagodharargal they could have taken a leaf out of the movie to keep the flashback short and quick.

Like I said before the screenplay is inspired by many mass commercial movies. Satyaraj himself says after hearing Vijay’s story that it feels like a Shankar film’s story. Throughout the movie, Satyaraj’s role is to listen to stories and flashback. They could have avoided this patchy non-linear screenplay altogether.  SJ Surya’s role as the villain is a treat to watch.

High Points: Vijay’s screen presence, AR Rahman’s background score, SJ Suryah’s role as villain

Low Points: Too many plot holes, Dragging screenplay, Cliched done and dusted scenes.

Overall Mersal is a mixture of Shankar, Murugadoss and Vijayakanth movies put together. If you are an ardent fan of Vijay then there are many fan moments to enjoy in the first half. However, when reviewed as a wholesome product it fails to cross the line.

Wait for DVD/TV

Mazhalai Inidhu Short Film Review

Mazhalai Inidhu Short Film Review – Mazhalai Inidhu is a Tamil short film released in 2016. The short film explores the space between the importance to career and personal family life.

In the fast paced moving world with nuclear families and both couples working the time they get to spend with the child gets minimized. In case of high flying jobs, the child often gets lonely and longing for the time with the parents. Mazhalai Inidhu short film does an honest take on the problem.

High Points

The plot for the script is very common and connectable one. It also addresses the real world problems in a family. Kudos to the team for choosing it. They have also included the plot devices of showing two extreme characters of one being career oriented and the other willing to lead a balanced life at work. This helps in painting two contrasting picture. The climax of the film is very effective in driving home the message. Meesha Goshal has done the character with ease and is very convincing on the screen. Be it conducting team meetings, chasing down the kid to get ready or breaking down she has done it well.  The background score blends well with the theme of the movie. Also, the team has used many different locations for the shoot.

Low Points

When it comes to a nuclear family the burden should be equally shared between husband and wife. However, the plot hasn’t given importance to that. The length of the short film for its message is a bit too long. It would have been more effective to have it under 20 minutes.

Overall Mazhalai Inidhu is a very good attempt by director Gopinath and team. The team has a good potential for making more such intriguing dramas. Kudos to the team and all the best for their future endeavors.

You can watch the short film here

https://www.shortfundly.com/video/29281/