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.

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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

 

Deadpool 2 Review

Deadpool 2 Review – Deadpool 2 is an English superhero action movie released in 2018. In the sequel to the movie released in 2016, Deadpool has to take on a time traveler by name Cable to stop him from killing a mutant kid.

Deadpool has been popular for being a bad ass superhero who likes to fight dirty. Well, he continues to fight as expected out of him. As the movie begins we see Deadpool setting himself on fire in his house just mocking how Logan died and gained popularity.  Then we jump into an adrenaline pumping stunt sequence followed by funky titles,  just to remind the audience they are going to see what they have come expecting.

From then on the movie goes in a predictable flow with some witty moments and some brilliant breaking the 4th wall moments. This makes the otherwise predictable movie a more enjoyable one. However this time the stunt and action block has a lesser scope and they have tried to use wit and emotion to fill it up. It has just managed to pull the movie over the edge. The formation of X Force and their first sky jump is a high point in the movie.  The climax is a bit too lengthy and barely manages from not becoming a cliche.

Cable, as a character, is dark and made really well.  The scenes involving him are definitely more interesting.  The soundtrack also has managed to keep the tempo of the movie going.

High Points: The formation of X Force, Characterization of Cable and the high way chase sequence, Witty dialogues and breaking the 4th wall, the Post-credits sequence will get you cracking

Low Points: The lengthy climax,  being lesser on action

Overall Deadpool 2 is a worthy sequel to the first installment of the badass superhero. It has most of the elements that are needed to entice the fans of Deadpool and it manages enough to keep the audience entertained.

Worth a Watch

Avengers Infinity War Review

Avengers Infinity War Review – Avengers Infinity War is an English superhero action movie released in 2018. After being split into two teams during the Civil war, the Avengers reunite to fight against the deadliest villain Thanos.

Right from the time Iron Man 1 released on screen, Marvel has been planning for the stories leading to a juncture where the team of superheroes fights the deadliest villain yet. In a way, many of the subplots over the past ten years connect here as the superheroes unite. The highlight of the movie is the characterization of Thanos. He definitely looks very dangerous and threatening whenever he comes on screen.

The movie picks off right from the post-credits scene of Thor Ragnorok. There is action sequence throughout the movie. There is also a very deep emotional connect in this one compared to the previous Avenger movies which mostly relied on high octane action sequences and witty dialogues to entertain the audience. This one also has those witty moments and some spectacular action sequences out of which the climax sequence is quite stunning.

High Points: Characterization of Thanos, Culmination of all the subplots, Action sequence choreography, emotional connection to the story, very engaging storyline. Completely shot in IMAX the visuals would be quite stunning on a large IMAX screen.

Low Points: There is no low point as such apart from the fact that, for folks who haven’t been watching all other films of MCU this one would be confusing.

Overall Avengers Infinity war is one of the best movies yet in the MCU.  Right from the word go, the movie will keep you engaged and glued to your seat. It would be a visual treat and an experience of a different level for Marvel fans. Do watch in theaters preferably on an IMAX screen, as this is the first ever movie shot completely in IMAX.

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Ready Player One Review

Ready Player One – Ready Player One is an English action fantasy movie released in 2018. In the year 2045 virtual worlds are an escape route for people not doing great in reality. The master game creator Halliday leaves a message prior to his death about an easter egg in his famous game Oasis. The one who finds it would inherit Halliday’s wealth and control Oasis in the future.

The movie is based on author Ernest Cline’s novel under the same name. Spielberg has given a visual form to the novel and it has worked very well. The fans of movies like The Matrix and Inception would find similarities of the plot switching between the virtual and real world.

The first 10 minutes of the movie takes the viewers on a journey of the world in 2045. The scenes in the stacks as Wade climbs down from his house gives glimpses of people’s addiction to the virtual world and it has a striking resemblance to the addiction to mobile devices we see around today.

The movie gets on with the actual challenge from the word go, the pace of the screenplay is quite racy and maintains the pace. It is akin to the most happening virtual world. There are very fine references to many movies in the virtual world, that every movie buff would enjoy. The visual effects of the virtual world as well the stack in the real world is very stunning.

High Points: Racy screenplay, visual effects and the construction of virtual worlds, memories of some famous movies.

Low Points: Folks who find the concept of virtual world and gaming world as a silly manifestation of reality may not connect with the movie.

Overall Ready Player One is a visual treat for movie buffs, particularly if you love movies in the fantasy and action genre. Spielberg has given a movie that has much appeal to the newer generation.

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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

 

 

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

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