Tag Archives: Dark

Joker Review

Joker Review – Joker is an American psychological thriller released in 2019. The movie is based on the famous DC Villain Joker and traces his origin story.

After the rave reviews, the movie has been receiving, I had finally watched Joker on the IMAX screen. It is a movie that breaks the fourth wall of sorts where it requires the involvement of the audience to interpret and make sense of the proceedings. It leaves you with a lot of emotions about what you have witnessed. It sort of symbolizes the rise of a dystopian society that Gotham had become later as you would have watched in Batman movies.

The movies opening scene paints the picture of the city that it is becoming. Arthur is putting on his clown make up, metaphorically putting on a happy face when the city is gone to the rats as it is conveyed by the newsreaders in the news channel. Rise of rats indicates the rise in the homeless people in the city living in makeshift shelters leading to the rise of rodent menace. The government is trying to control the rodents rather than addressing the source of the problem. There is a joke that gets aired in the Murray Franklin show on TV calling the rodents as super rats and the solution is to fight them with super cats. A sarcastic take on the tryst between Super-Villains and Super-Heroes is brilliantly weaved into the story.

The economic divide in the city has become so huge that the quality of life of the jobless people is in a very pathetic state. Arthur is just a representative of them where he craves an identity by fantasizing himself to be a successful standup comedian. Post the dramatic turn of events ( not revealing them here to avoid spoilers ), the prospective candidate for the Mayor, Thomas Wayne calls them clowns by accidentally giving them an identity that unites them.

The rest of the movie is about how Arthur’s life takes a turn with the turn of the events and what he becomes eventually. The climax is very open-ended letting you reflect and create your own version of the story.

Joaquin Phoenix is literally in every frame of the film and has delivered a very commendable performance. The hysterical laugh convinces you of a man who has a condition of mental illness. Director Todd Philips has given a movie that is much beyond the movie made out of comic. Joker can be an independent movie that has a lot to convey without having the link to the comic.

High Points: Performance of Joaquin Phoenix, the open-ended climax that leaves room for interpretations, the soundtrack from Frank Sinatra classics, the gripping dark screenplay.

Low Points: The film is dark, gritty and bold which may not appeal to the taste of folks who do not like it.

Overall, Joker is here to stay as a cult movie for very long and is arguably one of the best performances of Joaquin Phoenix yet. Joker is not just an origin story of Super-Villain but a movie that paints the side effects of the inequalities in society.

Must Watch

Petta Review

Petta Review – Petta is a Tamil action drama released in 2019. Kaali an elderly man joins as a temporary hostel warden in an arts college. There seems to be a hidden agenda behind his move which forms the core plot of Petta.

Petta, a fanboy film of Rajnikanth works its magic in bringing back many nostalgic memories of Rajnikanth movies in terms of shots, action blocks and situations. One big thing that it misses out is on the emotional connection to the character played by Rajnikanth on screen. Barring that it is an out and out entertainer. Like as in flashback sequences for Shankar, twists have become the regular feature in director Karthik Subburaj’s films. Personally, for me, the twists haven’t worked while it seems to have worked with many audiences. The twist of the tale in Jigarthanda and Pizza too did not work for me.

Petta’s first half is a wholesome entertainer, it has comedy, love, action sequences, songs, Thalaivar Swag all making it very enjoyable. The second half narrates an entirely a different story on a different canvas, that almost makes the first half irrelevant to the whole plot. The high orchestration builds up music is generously used in the second half BGM that might have worked well for the first day first show crowd but becomes cloying and making the climax appear to be elongated one. As it has been touted to be the second Baasha of sorts, I can’t resist doing a comparison to the old cult classic which again portrayed a dark side of Rajnikanth. But the first half characters lead back into the flashback as well and when the story connects back all of them are still relevant. That made you connect with the purpose of the lead character. That missed in Petta.

Besides the flaws, Petta is still a well made Tamil film that has many brilliant portions that would make you watch it again. First and foremost is the villaneous avatar of Rajnikanth and he plays it with so much ease and brings a terror on the screen as he gets involved in fights. It was refreshing to see Simran on screen after a long time. You just wished she had more screen time. Nawazuddin is the ideal choice for the Villain, the role is tailor made for him and he plays it to perfection. If you remove the fan flair of Petta, there is a raw gangster tale beneath it, that seems to be a very powerful one and left unexploited for the want of a breezy first half.

High Points: Rajni’s presence, the interval block, entertaining first half, the market fight scene, a Flashback sequence, inclusion of Simran

Low Points: Overuse of the build-up BGM, Twist after twist just for the sake of it

Overall, Petta is a true fanboy flick that captures all fanboy moments in a Rajni film. Lack of emotional connection to the main character makes it fall short of being a milestone movie. Yet there is lots to look for in Petta.

Worth a Watch

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