Category Archives: Reviews

Movie Reviews

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.

Must 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.

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

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review – Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is an English science fiction movie released in 2018. Three years after abandoning the island, Claire and Owen form a team to go back to the island to rescue selected species of the dinosaurs from the erupting volcano.

The movie is a sequel to the Jurassic World movie which is a reboot of sorts to the original Jurassic Park series. However in the latest series the backed scientific facts and the possible miracles in the genetic engineering space takes a back seat and more money is invested in attempting to make the audience jump out of the seats or spill popcorns. Although the attempt has not succeeded as much as the production house would have wanted, still they help in letting the script advance with lot of flaws swept under the carpet.

If you love Jurassic Park movies directed by Steven Spielberg, then you would have many moments to enjoy here as many scenes are replicated in here to create a nostalgic effect of the original. After watching the trailer I was just hoping that this does not create the same awkward moments of letting a dinosaur in downtown as in the Lost World. Fortunately not yet, at least not in this movie. (Sigh of relief)

The visual effects are quite stunning and the moment of thrills that work are pretty well done. As long as you don’t think about logic and science behind the scenes you would enjoy this movie.

High Points: Thrilling sequences, The emotional bond between Owen and Blue (raptor), nostalgic recreation of the scenes from the old movie.

Low Points: Lack of scientific facts and logic, over the top action sequences, very predictable screenplay.

Claire tells to Owen at one point, “Do you remember the first time you saw a dinosaur? You don’t really believe it. It’s like a miracle.” This holds good for the movie to. When we first watched Jurassic Park and got to see the dinosaurs on screen, it was like a miracle. Now we have got used to them like the King Kong, Superheroes and so on. Stretching this beyond this runs a risk of becoming cloying for the viewers.

Overall if you are a fan of the Jurassic World then go and watch this one on the big screen without worrying about logic. This is more of a commercial entertainer than science fiction.

Worth a Watch