Tag Archives: Thriller

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

The Salesman Review

The Salesman Review – The Salesman is an Iranian drama released in 2016. The couple Emad and Rana move into a new apartment after their current apartment building collapses. Some unforeseen events happen that change their lives forever.

The movie has won the Academy Award for foreign film category for 2016. Director Asghar Farhadi creates a very emotional drama drawing parallels to the “Death of the Salesman” play by Arthur Miller which the couple is enacting in the theater.  The screenplay keeps you guessing until the end. The movie is quite engaging and there is never a dull moment. The climax as it unfolds explores the struggle between anger and forgiveness.

Shahab Hosseini’s performance is a standout in the entire drama. In particular, the way he has performed during the climax portion is impeccable. His performance is ably supported by Taraneh Alidoosti. Her looks convey more powerful emotions. Unlike some run of the mill thrillers where an action is thrilling here the way the characters react to a particular situation causes the thrill.

After such a powerful climax I felt bit hanging in the ending as it was open ended. I couldn’t immediately connect the interpretation that the director wanted us to have. However only later I got the emotional conflict portion between anger and forgiveness. You might be able to draw a different interpretation. If you do share it in the comments section. Although this is a well-made movie, I wasn’t sure if this is path breaking to win an academy award compared to the other nominations we had in that category.

High Points: A very engaging screenplay, The performance of the lead actors, the powerful climax and the conflict drawn between anger and forgiveness.

Low Points: If you haven’t read or watched the play “Death of a Salesman” you would find it hard to understand the parallels. The ending leaves you hanging for you to decide the conclusion.

Overall The Salesman is an excellent thriller drama and stands apart from the run of the mill thrillers. You would enjoy this more if you have watched the play by Arthur Miller. The climax being open ended may not connect with everyone.

Worth a Watch

 

The Accountant Review

The Accountant Review – The Accountant is an American thriller released in 2016. Christian Wolfe is a mathematical genius who works to resolve financial deceptions in major criminal organizations. Christian is pursued by Raymond King, the director of financial crime from the treasury department.

The lead role is the one tailor-made for Ben Affleck and he does a very good job. The movie is intense from the start and it does have some cleverly placed lighter moments in between. The movie also has a strong statement against how the society treats kids with autism.  There is a gang in Rotten tomatoes who are a victim of favoritism and rate down some good movies. The Accountant is one such movie which suffers this criticism. The movie is much better than those critics have rated it.

The characterization of Christian Wolfe has been crafted well and is an interesting one to watch. It connects well with the audience throughout. J.K Simmons, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Anna Kendrick and John Bernthal have supported well. The editing is a great strength to the movie that deals with different timelines run in parallel. The most enjoyable sequence is the climax when things are uncovered and his interaction with “The Assasin”. This is not a movie where the climax reveals everything but throughout the movie, there are many revelations planted.

High Points: The Script and the characterization of Ben Affleck, The interaction between Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick, The interaction between Ben Affleck and John Bernthal, the climax.

Low Points: There is no moral line to the whole story of what is good and what is evil. So few of the audience who are searching for it would be disappointed.

Overall, The Accountant is yet another Ben Affleck movie that would be worth a visit to the theaters.  Don’t worry about the negative critic reviews you would enjoy watching this one for sure.

Worth a Watch

 

Papanasam Review

Papanasam Review – Papanasam is a Tamil thriller drama released in 2015. This is remake of Malayalam movie Drishyam. The movie revolves around the middle class family of Suyambulingam, his wife and their two daughters. They lead a typical life that has both happy as well as challenging moments around petty things. Overnight they go through a situation that threatens to change their lives forever. What was the situation and did they manage to overcome it is the plot of Papanasam.

Director Jeethu Joseph and Kamal Hassan should be appreciated for remaking the movie in Tamil. Many a times the remakes of a super hit falls into the trap of making it bigger and dramatic thereby loosing the essence of the movie. Papanasam does not fall into the trap and maintains the essence of the story and also adapting it very well to the nativity of Tamil Nadu very well. Kamal’s performance is outstanding and is on par with Mohanlal’s performance in Drishyam. He has performed the role with such ease. The scene, in which he boasts about himself to his wife, creates pun intended statements in the teashop, breaks down at the key moment his performance shines.

There are few changes done to the screenplay as compared to the original still they don’t spoil the story. Kalabavan Mani has performed his role very well as a ruthless inspector. Gouthami has come onto the screen after so many years, it is definitely refreshing to watch her on screen. You might have heard people refer to Japanese movie Suspect X to be similar to this one, but both are very different movies.

High Points: Screenplay of the movie, Kamal Hassan’s performance, Essence of the original maintained, very appealing story line

Low Points: Not much to say as low points although the length of the movie could have been kept within 2.5 hours.

Overall Papanasam is a very well made thriller. Even if you have watched Drishyam it is still entertaining to see this one as well.

Must Watch

PS: SPOILER AHEAD – On a funny note I wonder why the police didn’t catch the fact that the family couldn’t have watched Anjaan on August 2nd as it released only on August 15th 🙂