Category Archives: Must Watch

Raid Review

Raid Review – Raid is a Hindi crime thriller released in 2018. Amey Patnaik is an honest IRS officer, he conducts an IT raid in a powerful MP Rameshwar Singh, which ends up being one of the longest raids in the history.

This is based on true events that had occurred in the early 80s. The movie is gripping right from the first scene. Ajay Devgan shines well in the role of the IRS officer who is fearless and honest. The movie is precise and to the point. There is no unnecessary introduction build up, a song to please the fanfare, nor does he remove the shirt to show his muscle power. Rather a simple incident of not been able to enter the party due to dress code and how he adheres to the rules establishes the character well and the movie jumps right into thick of things.

A lot of research seems to have gone into the actual process of a raid. The moment the door of the MP is knocked on the wee hours of the morning, the pace of the movie picks up and gets engaging. The swag of Ajay Devgan at times of conflict is subtle yet powerful. Ileana although having limited scope, yet her character brings in the emotional connection to the story. Saurabh Shukla is a brilliant choice for the role of the MP. He has played the part of a very cunning, menacing MP very well. The end climax is a bit dramatic which seems to have been done for the commercial success of the movie. But nevertheless, it is enjoyable.

High Points: Gripping Screenplay, Ajay Devgan’s performance, Saurabh Shukla’s performance

Low Points: an Overdramatic climax

Overall, It is a very gripping IT raid that will hold you in your seat till the end. Do watch it in theaters.

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

Theeran Adhigaram Ondru Review

Theeran Adhigaram Ondru Review – Theeran Adhigaram Ondru is a Tamil crime thriller released in 2017. The movie is based on a true story where a cop and his team has to solve the mystery of people getting attacked and killed at their home for jewels and money.

Director H Vinoth comes up with yet another compelling tale after his Sathuranga Vettai.  I loved Sathuranga Vettai very much for its dialogues and screenplay. So naturally, I had expectations around Theeran.  Vinoth did not disappoint at all. It is a very racy thriller right from the word go. Karthi has essayed the character of Theeran very well and is a strong backbone for the movie. Bose Venkat has ably supported him throughout the movie. Vinoth has cleverly mixed some of the commercial elements into the movie without much adulterating the compelling tale. Abhimanyu Singh as Oma has performed very well as the villain. The scenes involving him certainly send some shivers down the spine.

The amount of research done by Vinoth is evidently visible. Right from the police training scene to the history animation he has given much attention to the details. The love portion involving Rakul Preet Singh and Karthi is interesting too and blends in well with the theme of the story. Wish our commercial film directors do this instead of bolting on romance and comedy scenes to the movie.

High Points: A well-researched plot, engaging screenplay, location selection, performances of Karthi and Abhimanyu Singh.

Low Points: There are certain scenes made over dramatic in the second half which seem to be touching the border of going overboard. But these scenes do not become a huge distraction.

Overall Theeran is a well researched and an engaging cop thriller based on true events. Vinoth has yet again struck with an engaging drama that keeps the audience entertained with some power-packed performances.

Must Watch

John Wick: Chapter 2 Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Review 

John Wick: Chapter 2 is an English action film released in 2017. John Wick has to return back to his dark life owing to the marker he had sworn by.

After a franchise becomes popular with the audience there is always an irresistible temptation to make a sequel to ride the popularity wave. More often than not the sequels fall flat owing to high expectations or lack of naivety the original film carried. Only very few franchises have been successful in making a sequel that is much more powerful than the first part itself. John Wick franchise joins the list. The Chapter 2 is as compelling and enjoyable as the first chapter. Like in the first chapter this is meant for action movie fans. If you are not a fan of action flicks then you may not appreciate this much.

The gunfights and the martial arts combat has been taken to the next level and choreographed very well. The world of John Wick expands and you get to learn newer rules in the world and also the power of how interconnected the world is portrayed very beautifully. The final scene of the movie is a great example of it. The movie starts with an adrenaline pumping hunt down sequence where John gets his car back. This serves as a good appetizer and then you are served with a delicious main course. Keanu Reeves has portrayed his character as well he has done in the first part. He is very good to watch in the stunt sequences.

High Point: Stunt choreography,  Keanu Reeves performance, the portrayal of interconnections in the gangster world, The metro station sequence, Gunfights, Sound effects.

Low Point: If you are not a fan of action movies then you would find this not so interesting.

Overall John Wick is here yet again to take you to his world with rules and entertain the action movie fan in you as much as he had done in the first chapter. With the second chapter clicking so well there is a great anticipation on the third chapter.

Must Watch for action movie fans

The Midnight Matinee Review

The Midnight Matinee Review – The Midnight Matinee is an anthology of shorts released in 2017. The movie is presented in a format of 5 short films which has some interesting twist at the end.

The movie’s presentation kept me curious and engaged throughout. The entire presentation had a feeling of walking into a hall to enjoy variety entertainment. Each of the short films had thrilling moments and a very interesting end. The common theme seemed to be horror. I usually do not like run of the mill horror movies that has a horror for the sake of it. The Midnight Matinee had cleverly used the element of horror without creating a cloying effect.

In an old school theatrical style, every movie starts with a textual introduction and a sort of moral and sarcastic ending. This adds a new layer to the storytelling. In a pure Hitchcock kind of style, the suspense and thrills are created out of most common circumstances rather than bringing in some out of the world sequences. The first movie Open Sea is entirely taken in a found footage style of movie making. The ending makes it totally worth it. Having short bursts of stories gives less room to guess the ending which makes it an interesting watch.

Kudos to the writer, director and producer Justin Doescher and his team for experimenting a new way of story telling.

High Points: Theatre style presentation, Surprise twist at the end of the tale, the element of suspense and thrills.

Low Points: For folks who are not fans of found footage kind of treatment would not enjoy all the short films in this.

Overall The Midnight Matinee is a treat for all independent movie lovers. It stands out from the crowd for its unique style of presentation and the difference in treatment of the script. You would find it hard selecting which of the shorts you liked the most. The movie is available on Amazon Prime. Don’t miss it.

Must Watch

Assassination Review

Assassination Review – Assassination is a South Korean action thriller released in 2015. During the Japan’s rule over Korea, an assassination is planned against the governor general and a pro-Japanese business man.

After director Bong Joon-ho, Choi Dong-hoon becomes my favorite director in the South Korean film industry. Choi Dong-hoon makes very stylish movies with an engaging screenplay with plots and subplots backed by high production value. I had liked his movie The Thieves. Assassination is, even more, a visual grandeur than Choi Dong-hoon’s previous movies.  The movie is a set in a period of the early 20th century. The sets and costumes are created with much detailing to make it convincing. The plot is equally engaging and keeps you hooked on till the end. The movie begins with a bang with the first assassination attempt and then jumps 20 years later where yet another attempt is made. The characters flow through the 20 years and there are some surprise twists with their transformation during this period. Although there are multiple characters in the movie every character connects with you and have some significant screen time. The stunt sequences are well choreographed with the highlight being gun fights. In particular, the final climax gun fight has been done well with so many characters. Choi Dong-hoon thinks ahead of the audience so you are always in for surprises.

Jun Ji-hyun delivers a very contrast performance compared to her role in My Sassy girl. Her performance is one of the highlights of the movie. Lee Jung-jae and Ha Jung-woo’s performances stand out.

High Points: Very stylish visuals, Period based sets, and costumes, Jun Ji-hyun’s performance the assassination attempt at the gas station, characterization of Hawaii Pistol, the Climax fight.

Low Points: There was never a dull moment for me in the movie so the shortcomings are too hard to catch.

Overall, Choi Dong-hoon has created a visual grandeur combined with some clever screenplay. If you love espionage movies or stylish action movies then you would love this one.

Must Watch

Kaatru Veliyidai Review

Kaatru Veliyidai Review – Kaatru Veliyidai is a Tamil romantic drama released in 2017. VC an Indian Air Force fighter pilot is captured by Pakistani army as a war prisoner during the Kargil war, his hope to meet Leela once more keeps him alive.

Director Maniratnam creates a yet another gem out of his “Akshaya Patra” (inexhaustible vessel) of love. He still has some much more stories to tell. In Kaatru Veliyidai, he deals with yet another tale of romance the core conflict being male chauvinism. The canvas for the tale he has chosen is quite interesting. It is a love between an Air Force fighter pilot and a doctor. The swag of a pilot naturally makes the male chauvinist behavior very believable. I will not dwell more on the story and spoil any fun for you.

Ravi Varman’s cinematography is a great plus. The entire movie is a visual treat. The breathtaking view of the Himalayan mountain range makes it even richer. I couldn’t take the eyes from the screen. Extreme close up shots, communicating with eyes, a lesser number of dialogues, a slow movement of the scene to build up the drama all makes it very appealing. I love drama in the movies, off late watching the treatment of directors like Hari, KV Anand and many other directors I have led to believe that slow moving shots, communication through silence all have become old fashioned. But this vintage magic of Mani sir is still magical. Those short and sweet dialogues still evoke the emotions in you. Those silent visuals still teleport you.

The most striking performance is from Aditi Rao Hydari. She is not only eye candy but her eyes speak a lot. The scene in which she looks into the mirror and questions herself, she has performed so well. Karthi’s performance is also good. At times you feel he goes overboard with his performance but all this works well to establish his male chauvinist attitude. RJ Balaji for a change has acted in a mellowed down manner. He could make you laugh even with serious dialogues without trying too hard with mixing Tamil and English.

The music and background score of AR Rahman is very apt for the visuals. Mani sir has re-used some of the iconic romance scenes from his earlier movies shamelessly. And we too would enjoy these shamelessly as they still stay fresh after so many years.

High Points: The treatment of the core conflict of love, Breathtaking visuals, slow drama and communication through silence, Aditi’s performance are all high points.

Low Points: If you don’t like silence in movies or slow drama you might feel a bit restless.

Overall I would say Vintage Mani Sir is back. He still has a lot of love (stories) left in him. If you love movies like Mouna Raagam, Alaipayuthey, Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya, you would love this one too.

Must Watch