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.
Kabali Review – Kabali is a Tamil gangster drama released in 2016. Kabali a gangster leading the Tamil group in Malaysia is released from prison after 25 years due to a crime scene where he lost his pregnant wife. As he sets to seek revenge on his enemies he learns his wife might be still alive.
Probably this Rajnikanth movie had a much greater hype than any of his previous movies. I decided not to watch it on the first day for multiple reasons, one with so much of overhype I wasn’t sure if I could write a balanced review. The other reason was Ranjith and Rajini had mentioned this would not be a usual Rajini movie and the most recent posters depicting Rajini in an emotional avatar I did not want to miss out the intensity lost when I watch it as an ardent fan of Thalaivar.
As expected the movie is definitely apart from standard Rajini movies. Still they couldn’t do away with some of the scenes that happen to be typical template of a Rajini starrer. The first 20 minutes of the movie gives what the audience need at the same time helps in moving the plot forward. Rajini’s costume, the style of his walk, the swag has come out very well and there is plenty to cheer about. As the movie progresses the plot gets grim and eventually turns into an emotional drama till getting back to the Gangster life. I enjoyed the gangster part of the flick for many reasons. I felt there was a deep influence of Scarface and it could become a cult classic. I did not like the emotional journey of Kabali and felt it was added just as a filler and did not move the story forward infact the emotional journey made his purpose of revenge more weaker. If you have watched the movie you would understand.
Kudos to Ranjith and team for pulling out a movie which had more chance for Rajini as an actor. Radhika Apte, Dhansika, Dinesh, Kishore have supported well.
High Points: Rajini’s acting, his Swag, intense drama in the screenplay, Background Score, Flashback portions, Malaysian culture has been depicted well.
Low Points: The emotional Journey of Kabali did not help the plot much, Songs could have been better.
Overall Kabali is charismatic to hold you to your seats and keep you intense till the end. The minor plot holes could be easily forgotten when seeing the entire package. Ghost of Baasha would always haunt Rajini and his directors and we can’t do much about it. Only way to break this is to create movies like Kabali and Endhiran to bring out the actor in Rajinikanth. Go and watch in the theaters.
Worth a Watch
Manjhi – The Mountain Man Review – Manjhi – The Mountain Man is a Hindi biopic released in 2015. The movie is based on the life of Dasarath Manjhi the man who carved a path through a mountain using only a hammer and chisel.
Director Ketan Mehta has taken an inspiring story of a man who did something, which anyone would have written off, as impossible. The movie is a blend of commercial cinema and art house cinema. Most of the scenes are very realistic in nature.
Although a very inspirational story it has challenges when it is told as a full-length feature film. The makers have tried their best to use nonlinear narration to keep it interesting. I would say it has worked in parts. Can’t complain too much as the story only had so much to offer. A reduction of 20 minutes of the movie could have made it very impactful.
NFDC has jointly produced this movie with Viacom 18. It is good to see NFDC active in mainstream movies as well. Hope this trend continues. Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s performance is a stand out in the movie. He has helped recreating the type of person Manjhi might have been on the silver screen. Radhika Apte is another major strength for this movie. She had portrayed the character so well and is very convincing that someone has gone so far for the love of her.
The movie also has some strong political statements. I was not able to verify the authenticity of the subtle references. Nevertheless it was some of the best portions in the movie.
High Points: Inspiring Biopic, No unwanted commercial frills, Nawazuddin and Radhika’s performance, realistic visuals
Low Points: Not much in the story for a full-length feature
Overall Manjhi – The Mountain Man is an inspiring biopic that you would not want to miss. If you were interested in Biopics and realistic movies you would enjoy this.